20 Habits of Successful & Wealthy Traders!

Hello to all my readers :)

Hope my post finds you well and dandy! :)

Have you ever asked yourself the following questions:

What differentiates a successful trader from an unsuccessful one?

What are the habits of successful people and in particular successful traders?

trading success

I have often asked myself these questions as I have trained and coached a large numbers of traders as I came across a lot of different trader types and I could clearly see that there is a pattern and habits which successful traders follow :).

Traders types

For novice FX traders, and experts too, what can we learn from those who are successful?

To find out, I started to interview professional and well known traders as well as less famous ones who are successful at trading to figure out what made them different and successful. After hundred of interviews, I have collated what are the reoccurring themes of successful and wealthy traders :).

Successful Traders

Below, I have listed the 20 habits of successful and wealthy traders and if you are a seasoned trader, I am sure you will agree with them.

1. Have a precise Trading Plan and follow it with discipline

2. Patient with winners and impatient with losers

3. View Technical Analysis as a picture of where traders are lining up to buy and sell

4. Before they enter every trade they will know profit target and stop exit

5. Approach trade no.5 with the same conviction as the previous 4 losing trades

6. Use naked charts (Price Action)

7. Read about human and Trading Psychology

8. Successful traders stopped trying to pick tops and bottoms long ago

9. Do not think market as expensive or cheap

10. Aggressive with trade size when doing well and modest when not

11. Realise the market will be open tomorrow so don’t chase trades

12. Never add to a losing position. EVER.

13. Judge their trading success on anything but money

14. Comfortable making decisions with incomplete information

15. Making money is more important than being right

16. Practice reading the right side of the charts not the left

17. Have an edge in the market which gives them a greater than 50/50 chance of determining the future direction of the price

18. Determine position size based on risk, not round numbers

19. Buy strong market and sell weak markets

20. Play reaction, not the news

Analyse, trade, evaluate, repeat. Successful traders are creatures of habit – they are defined by their daily trading routines :).

Habit sweet spot

Sure, there is talent involved, but it is what they do everyday, over and over, through triumph and failure, that makes them successful :).

success day in day out

it is not about fortune. It is about skill, honed through persistence and discipline. They are dedicated to perfecting their craft :).

Trading Zone

We become what we repeatedly do‘ – Sean Covey.

aristotle

To your Successful Trading! :)

Viv :)

3 Rules for Trading Success!

A very warm evening to all my readers :)

Have you ever considered to become a financial market trader?

Have you ever experienced success when you first started to trade?

trading

You might know, that traders and active investors are a largely misperceived breed and their profession/discipline is also misunderstood. Trading, whether that of Forex, Futures, Stocks, Bonds or Options, is usually viewed as gambling by the public. It is seen as a way to get rick quick through fortune. But there is so much more to it than meets the eye.

Legitimate day traders, swing traders, and active investors are true masters of their craft, rising above human nature to churn out profits consistently from the market. Just like great artists, athletes, and professionals train years to become proficient, so do great traders, honing their skills of analysis, risk control, and mental discipline to gain an edge in the markets.

As any other discipline, to become successful in trading, there is the need to be discipline and to follow the rules. :)

disciplined_trading_cycle

Below I have listed three rules to follow to become a long-term successful trader. Only when you master them, you can see consistent results in your trading. :)

Rule 1:  Your desire to ‘win’ is the problem.

Male hand holding gold medal against the dramatic sky

They say that the worst thing in life is not death, but what dies within you while you are still alive. I strongly believe in this :)

Dreams are powerful things, and nothing is worse than when life makes them seem impossible to achieve.  In the words of a famous 1980’s song, dreams are like ‘china in your hand’ – they can break easily.

As trader, you might be familiar with this scenario: when first started out in trading, the stock market was your best friend.  Everything looked so easy: technology, advanced trading software and online brokerage accounts made trading seem like child’s play. And then the worst thing that could befall a new trader to start winning.

Then the markets began to reward you for trading without any discipline or proper planning.  Skimming the indices for a few points here and there – jumping in and jumping out like a trapeze artist, instead of risking 1% of your capital on each trade risk 20%, instead of honouring your stop-loss, you would start to move it as soon as you feared you might be losing.  As you started to win more and more trades, you began to over-leverage and over-trade your position.  And yes, the markets still rewarded you with money. Not surprisingly, your good fortune did not last for very long, within a few months you reduced your beautiful trading account to 30% of its original value.’  Does it sound familiar?

If you have experienced losses in your early days of trading, consider yourself very fortunate.  That should have taught you a very important lesson about risk – there are sharks and piranhas everywhere ready to take your money.  More importantly the market has no responsibility to make you money as it does not know your existence and the market never loses!

 

Summary:  Traders should focus on executing their trading plans and minimising their risks and NOT whether they will win or lose on any single trade.  Profits will come to you if you take care of the risk.

risk

Rule 2: Your worst enemy: You & your Perfectionism

cycle of perfectionism

Few things in life are ever perfect such as holding your newborn baby for the first time or the smile of the love of your life. :)

The desire to get things perfect and ‘just right’ may serve you well in other professions – but it is a curse when it comes to trading or starting any business.

I have seen many traders follow a pattern: they go from over-confident to over-cautious.  After a losing streak, they begin to question their system.  Now a trade has to ‘feel right’ to them before they take action and by the time the feeling comes it is much too late to enter. And then begins the next inevitable stage: the search for the magic pill – a foolproof and easy trading system that gets you in and out at exact tops and bottoms and you never lose.

People that spent time looking for such a ‘magic pill’ – it does not exist so please do not waste your time.  (I say this just in case you saw that movie ‘Limitless’ which coincidentally was about a guy who swallows a pill and becomes a stock market genius.  An excellent movie, but it’s not going to happen!)

Summary:  There are no shortcuts to success – only hard work and adhering to a proper trading plan.

champions-know-there-are-no-shortcuts-to-the-top

3: Trade to make a living, NOT to make a killing

trading 1

A question I often get asked in my coaching sessions is ‘Can I trade a £2,000 account to be able to quit my job?’  This is clearly not realistic.  Another favourite is:  ‘How do I turn £2,000 into £1 million in six months?’  Err… You’ve got to be kidding me!

There are companies out there who allow you to leverage your money through the medium of spread betting, CFDs or options.  You could use £2,000 to trade on 100:1 leverage and if you are fortunate ‘make a fortune’.  But that good fortune only has to turn into bad fortune once before you lose everything.  And just because you can do something does not mean you should do it.  You could drive a fast car at ridiculous speeds down a small country road – but you will only be a danger to yourself and everyone else.

Write this phrase down on a piece of paper and stick it on your computer so you never forget it:

Amateur traders focus on how much money they can MAKE, Professional traders focus on how much money they can LOSE. 

Summary: The sole reason you should trade is for the purpose of  becoming financially free to be able to cover all of your monthly expenses and luxuries.  The millions will come to you as a result of adhering to a solid trading plan with discipline.

freedom (1)

Remember that to the extent of  sticking to your trading plan and discipline, you will become a successful trader! :)

Trading+Discipline

To your Trading Success :)

Viv :)

 

 

The Wisdom of Failure

A very good evening to all my readers, :)

Have you ever asked yourself:

How do you climb back onto the saddle when the horse has flung you off: when your plans fall to pieces?

Looking back, as we approach another year end and tabulating whether my successes have been more than my failures. It is clear that failure has left its imprint.

Life will constantly test your resolve and level of commitment.

If only we could have patience in the midst of our trials. Coping with rejection and apparent failure is a serious matter.

plan vs reality

If you focus on positive thinking, even the harshest defeat is only a stepping-stone. :)

Never let Success get to your Head. Never let Failure get to your Heart. “I didn’t get consumed by losses,” said Don Shula, “and I didn’t get overwhelmed by successes.”

Many of us have stifled our life by heeding some misguided critic who implied we were not good enough. Few things in life are certain but failure is.

Failure seems as something to be avoided at all cost. Although it leaves a sour taste, we should embrace failure for the learning opportunity it is. Failure is the oldest teacher, and perhaps the wisest of them all. Some things are impossible to completely grasp without first falling down.

We live in a culture that values perfectionism and failure is often viewed as a sign of weakness. People become so fixated on not failing that they never move forward. When it comes to failing, our egos are our own worst enemies. It is easier to accept failure in private, but once the failure is obvious to everyone around you, it becomes harder to accept it. Holding onto failures for way too long is destructive.

What is the importance  of failure?

  • It’s a learning Experience. Failure drives us to change. It represents opportunity and growth. It gives new direction.There is always one or more lessons to learn in what you may see as a failure.
  • It builds Character. We learn how to behave when we finally accomplish our goals. The humility we gain through our failures allows us to better handle and appreciate success.
  • It makes you Stronger. It is with persistence we overcome failure to achieve success . When people fail, they feel unaccomplished, and so they try again and again, until they finally reach success.
  • Your chances of Succeeding Increases. Failures are the pillars for success. You gain experiences you could not get any other way. Some things can only be learned through trial and error.
  • Failure is a type of Freedom. You might ask: Why? Because the worst has happened. Now, you can relax and rebuild again.

Success does not come easy. Everyone must face one hurdle after another. If you think that once you have the success you crave, you can relax, you are sadly mistaken.

the finish line

Failure can be costly, not only emotionally but financially as well. Some industries are very unforgiving as one or more failures may instantly get you the boot. The worse thing anyone can do, is not learn from failures.

“Failure is the tuition you pay for success.” ~Walter Brunell

In recent years, more and more executives have embraced the point of view, that failure is a prerequisite to invention. ‘The fastest way to succeed’, IBM’s Thomas Watson, Sr., once said, ‘is to double your failure rate.’ The growing acceptance of failure is changing the way companies approach innovation.

‘There is no failure. Only feedback.’ ~Robert Allen

However, distinguishing between excusable and inexcusable failure is crucial. Managing failure is key. Some mistakes are unpardonable for example producing and marketing a dysfunctional product caused by poor quality control. Encouraging failure doesn’t mean abandoning or supervision or respect for sound practices. Managing for failure requires leaders to be more engaged, not less.

Finally, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back.

I wish you the very best in life and success :)and remember that ‘Our best success often come after our greatest disappointments.’ ~Henry Ward Beecher

Remember to take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. Always find joy in your journey for as George Bailey said it best “It’s a Wonderful Life!” :)

take risks if u win

I really appreciate that you are taking the time to read this post.

To your successes! :)

Viv :)

Trading in the zone!

 Have you have been so focused on doing something that you have not been aware of people walking around you or heard any surrounding noise?

Have you ever driven in a motorway and listen to your favourite music? Have you felt in tune with it?

I hope you agree with me that when you are in tune with something or someone, you are completely focused without any distractions or noticing any noise.

Most of you, who know me well, have already identified the subject of this article, and yes, you are not wrong. It’s about trading and in particular it is related to a famous trading book: Trading in the zone by Mark Douglas.

trading in the zone

I love this book because it is related to trading psychology and if you are a trader or you are thinking of taking up this career than this is an absolute must read for you. I have read it so many times that I have lost count. :-)

You will get the most from this book if you already have a trading system or execute the trades as effectively as you would like. :-)

This book taps into your belief systems, which in turn determine your actions, in a very coherent manner. ‘A belief system is nothing more than a thought you’ve though over and over again’ – Wayne Dyer. It is no exaggeration to say that if your trading methodology has a genuine edge, this book could transform you into the owner of your very own casino if you allow it to.

belief-system-2

The knowledge the author offers is also applicable to other areas of life including quitting smoking – it’s all about positively energising the concept that you’re a non smoker and de-energising the concept that you are a smoker.

Before you turn off condemning that comment as psycho-babble, you should remember, as the author explains, to keep your mind open to information according to what you already believe to be true.

An exceptionally fine book on the most important aspects of trading in which the author selflessly shares his soul in addition to his knowledge.

emotional guidance scale

For example, he shares the 5 fundamental truths of trading:

  1. Anything can happen whilst trading
  2. You do not need to know what is going to happen next in order to make money
  3. There is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that define an edge
  4. An edge is nothing more than an indication of a higher probability of one thing happening over another
  5. Every moment in the market is unique

probability mindset

He also shares, the 7 principles of trading consistency:

  1. I objectively identify my edge
  2. I predefine the risk of every trade
  3. I completely accept the risk or I am willing to let go of the trade
  4. I act on my edges without hesitation or reservation
  5. I pay myself as the market makes money available to me
  6. I continually monitor my susceptibility to make errors
  7. I understand the absolute necessity of these principles of consistent success and therefore I will never violate them

consistency is key

So to think like a trader means to think in terms of probabilities, identify your edge, execute your trades the same way each and every time and take every setup that fits your criteria. Look to analyze your trades in sample sizes and not individually. Doing these things (over time), can help develop a level of confidence and consistency in your trading.

consistence creates confidence

He suggests an excellent Trading Mission Statement:

I am a determined trading athlete. My goal as an online trading athlete is to be confident and have belief.

Sticking tenaciously to my plan will help me become a full time trader, trading for a living.

Set and go!!!

Also, he outlines the importance of having a Trading Plan:

‘To have time to do what I want to do and still have the money to do it as well, e.g. travelling, etc.’

forex-trading-plan

To attain the best possible impact on your trading mindset, read with an open mind, make notes, re-read, and re-read again as the knowledge in the book contains has to sink deep into your personality and character arena.

success 2

Happy reading :-)

To your trading success :-)

Viv :-)

8 STEPS TO CHOOSE YOUR BEST STRATEGY!

A good evening to all my readers :-)

Hope my post finds you well and jolly :-)

 

‘Strategy is not the consequences of planning but rather the opposite, its starting point.’ – Henry Mitzberg

Have you ever wondered why things suddenly did not work out after setting things up in the right place to accomplish a goal?

 

Have you ever felt that you had the perfect edge to achieve your plan but something did not work out the way you wanted?

 

Most of the time this is because even if the situations, places, circumstances and opportunities are in our favour, we do not use the right tools and techniques to ensure our plans and goals manifest into reality. Would you agree with me? Also to be honest, it is not a pleasurable place to be, is it?

This post will provide you deep insight into the core and the most fundamental principle which all the tools and techniques for achieving success come from: STRATEGY!

strategy

The day I learnt that for any achievement in life and in business, there was always a more efficient way to achieve it by using a proven strategy, it really  opened up a new dimension in my life!  Before we examine strategies in more detail, let me give you the gift of one of the most profound success strategies I know. ‘Get around the path walkers.’ If you want to be successful you should model a successful person by having them coach and/or mentor you. :-) They have already achieved what you want to achieve and been through the bumps in the road, the highs and the lows of the process and therefore are in a better position than you to guide you to the most effective strategy to employ, and get you the success you deserve. Is this not want all of us want – to avoid the pitfalls and enjoy a smooth and successful ride?

Mentor-300x225

At this point, you might ask:

How can I recognize what is the best and most effective strategy to employ?

 

Firstly, we need to understand what a strategy is. It is the process, the system and method employed to achieve our goals. It is how we go about to accomplish our objectives. It is our starting point from which comes our plan of action. It enables decisions to be taken, plans to be judged, resources to be allocated and actions to be prioritised. It is what empowers people to develop action plans that are consistent with the future that is being sought and means they act decisively in the areas where most advantage can be won. This is where one final step is needed – producing our plan! Without it, we will not achieve any results! :-)

Below are the 8 steps that will help you to recognize which strategy will be best for achieving your success and you can visit my website www.thebooksonsuccess.com and download the PDF exercise called ‘Strategy Mastery Worksheet’ for a printer-friendly version. Please complete this exercise both for your business and for your personal life! This tool is a very effective aid in recognizing what ‘marketing strategies’ to add to your business plan and employ in your business.

9780957498501 

STEP 1: Understand the Scope of your goal/plan

 Submarine periscope

To identify and understand the scope of your goal/plan, ask yourself the following questions:

What is my BIG WHY? What is the purpose of my business?

What is my mission statement? What is my business mission statement?

What are my reasons to get up every morning? What reasons do I have for investing my time, energy and money in my business every day?

What message do I want to promote with my marketing campaign?

 

What makes me stand out in my industry?

 

What makes my services and products different from my competition?

In terms of business, not only does your mission statement guide your overall company practices, it also provides you with the guidelines and clarity to choose the best strategy. Before you can dive into the details, you need to envision the scope of your goal/plan: considering the advantages, challenges and purpose of it. 

Remember, PURPOSE and CLARITY are the most important keys to success when identifying the best strategy for achieving your goals/plans!

 

 

STEP 2: Perform your SWOT analysis

swot-analysis

 

Once you have a grasp of the scope of your big goal, run your desired goal through a SWOT analysis. You can visit my website www.thebooksonsuccess.com and download the PDF exercise called ‘SWOT Analysis’ for a printer-friendly version.

 

The outcome will be a high level of clarity on the necessary steps that will be needed to achieve your big goal, as well as the most effective ways of taking those necessary steps. :-)

 

 

STEP 3: Set small goals

small-goals

 

Once you have clarity on your purpose (your why) and have run your big goal through a SWOT analysis, then you can start to set smaller goals to achieve the steps identified that are needed if you are to achieve your big goal. You will now have the benefit of long term vision and short term motivation! This is the step when you start to turn future possibility into realistic probability.

 

 

STEP 4: Set deadlines

deadlines

Deadline is the time commitment by which your task/goal must be achieved. This is a powerful strategic tool we must use to our advantage. When we set a deadline and expect to get our goal accomplished quickly, they usually do! What are the reasons behind this? It usually takes as much time as we allow them to take! You see, we always work best under a self-determined or externally fixed deadline. By consciously choosing to enforce deadlines, they increase our accountability and focus, essentially fast tracking our results and rewards.

What are the benefits of having deadlines?

A deadline enforces a strong sense of urgency and challenges us to perform.

Deadlines represent commitment, this is a black and white choice: you are committed or you are not.

Deadlines enforce accountability and they create a sense of urgency to improve your results.

Your challenge is to meet each deadline set and astound yourself by what you are able to accomplish!

STEP 5: Establish measures of Success

to-measure-is-to-know-

Plans and goals are useless without clearly understood, quantifiable measures of success.

Understanding how success will be measured is one of the keys to achieving it as if we can’t measure it, we can’t manage it. As part of your strategy, decide what areas you hope to impact, then determine how it will be monitored. Set up your reporting plan early in the process of laying out your strategy. That way, you will be clear on the expectations from the outset.

Establish an implementation calendar, with specific milestones for each step, i.e. monthly or weekly targets. Assign clear accountability for each action, while making sure the needed resources are in place. Ensure that you know what action you need to take to make it happen, measure assiduously and take necessary procedures quickly if milestones are not met.

 

STEP 6: Develop a strategy Map and make it visual

strategy map

 

It is time to put it all together and have a clear and organised plan. I am sure that now you have more clarity on your purpose, weaknesses, strengths, opportunities, threats, long term goals, monthly SMART goals, a TO-DO list based on your short term goals and metrics to measure your success!

Now that you have put it all together and you have found out what is your best strategy to employ to achieve your goal/plan, it is time to create a tool that will help you know where you’re at in a single glance.

 To make it more powerful and successful, you’ll need to create a strategy Map.

 

 

STEP 7: Monitor your performance and results

monitoring performance

 

This is a very vital and important aspect to ensure that your strategy is working and producing results! Obviously, you need to put efforts and time into it, so it is essential that you have clear means to measure your results!

Remember to celebrate the wins along the way, whether big or small. It will help to boost your confidence levels and to drive your motivation to achieve the next elements of your goal/plan:-)

 

 

STEP 8: Review your strategy and Implement it

strategy lifecycle 

This is the most important step to make your strategy the most effective and efficient possible. A good strategy guides your goals/plans and encourages new opportunities for growth.

However, too often strategic thinking boils down to merely validating the current strategy or making go/no go decisions on the course of action. A much better approach is to spend creative time up front to identify several alternatives – the so called ‘what if…’ scenario.

You might ask yourself:

 

What did I learn from analysing the gap between estimated and achieved results?

 

What can be increased, decreased, reversed, separated or bundled together?

 

What would I do if I had to reach the ‘finishing line’ in half the time?

 

What three priority actions will I implement in my life and in my business as a result of my discoveries?

After employing the strategy, analyse the results to verify its efficiency and dedicate time for revision. Get rid of what isn’t working and continue to implement what is.

 

Just remember that crafting a few different but realistic alternatives and evaluating them using clear criteria will yield a true strategic plan that creates a vision for the future, rather than a reflection of the past. Do not keep changing it all the time. Also remember to give enough time for the strategy to prove its worthiness or failure by monitoring its results. :-)

 

Decide on key action steps, accountability measures and timing, but also agree on how to monitor the environment for any unexpected opportunities or necessary changes that might warrant modifications to the plan.

 

What are the benefits of employing the best strategy available?

We all need to have a strategy in place if we want to achieve our success. It will help us to keep focused and stay on track. If we do not have a direction and a scope before we initiate any plan, it will be very difficult to succeed. In business terms, owning a business is not about work, it is about the strategy we employ. This highlights the concept of working smarter and not harder.

do it

To the employment of your most successful strategy:-)!

Viv:-)

Keys to Manage Stress

Hello to all my readers :-)

Have you ever felt like a mouse running on a tread wheel and getting nowhere?

Have you ever felt angry because you work so many hours and do not have the time to spend with your dear ones?

You can feel assure that you are not alone. According to a mental-health charity in the UK, 1 in 5  British workers said that stress had made them physically sick during their career, and unmanageable pressure had caused 1 in 4 to cry while at work. Prescriptions for antidepressants saw an unprecedented rise during one recent year of economic recession.

To manage any issues, we need to get to understand the stress cycle and the root of the problem.

Stress cycle

Ask yourself:

What has caused you stress?

The answer could be multiple, for example: insecurity – financial or health, a demanding routine, interpersonal conflicts or a traumatic experience.

Sources of stress

Also ask: ‘How has stress affected you?’

Stress Body Mind

Some symptoms could be health disorders, emotional exhaustion, sleep problems, deteriorating relationships or depression.

You also need to remember that stress activates an amazing system in your body, your emergency response system. Hormones are released to increase your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.

So learning how to deal with stress is important to both your physical and mental well-being.

How can we manage stress?

outsourcing stress

Stress in itself is not necessarily harmful. The American Psychological Association has noted: ‘Stress is to the human condition what tension is to the violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue, really, is how to manage it.’

I also came across to a very good quote of stress:

stress is

Here some practical advice to manage stress:

  1. Insecurity

Not one of us has total security.

How can we cope with feelings of insecurity?

Try these suggestions:

* Confide in a trusted family member or friend. Studies show that the support of loved ones consistently confers protection against stress-related disorders.

* Focus on positive scenarios. If you focus on negatives ones, they will drain your emotional reserves. Remember that what you fear may not happen.

  1. Demanding routine

A relentless routine of commuting, working, studying or caring for children or elderly parents can keep stress level high.

Moreover, stopping some of these activities may be out of question.

What can we do to cope?

* Give yourself some downtime, and get adequate rest.

* Set sound priorities and adopt a modest lifestyle. Consider simplifying your life, perhaps by reducing expenses or time spent at work.

‘Making certain lifestyle changes is the best start’ to relieving stress’, says the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US.

Start with eating a well-balanced, healthy diet as well as getting enough sleep and exercise. Also limit caffeine and alcohol intake and don’t use nicotine, cocaine or other street drugs.’ The NIH also suggests taking breaks from work, spending time with family or friends, learning to make things with your hands, hobbies or learning to play a musical instrument. I will also add dancing.

stress management

To your success :-)

Viv :-)

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules for Success

A very good evening to all my readers :-)

Hope my post finds you well and dandy :-)

Have you ever experienced feeling exhausted after you put so much effort into pursuing a goal?

Have you ever felt discouraged when you realize that you are still so far from your objectives no matter how strong your desire is to achieve them?

Have you ever asked yourself ‘what are the rules of success of accomplished people?

I personally have experienced all of the above and I can guarantee you that these are not pleasant feelings, they cause a lot of frustration and they can bring you to breaking point.

In my quest to find an answer to the question of obtaining success, I came across Arnold Schwarzenegger’ speech for Harvard University. Even though I am personally more familiar with the thinking of Rocky and Mohammed Ali; I have to be honest and say that when I listened to Schwarzenegger’s rules of success, they really resonated with me so I decided to share them with you. :-)

Arnold-6Rules-Success-e1367511772942

Here is a transcription of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech:

‘And, of course, people ask me all the time; they say to me, ‘What is the secret of success?

Before I start, I just want to say that these are my rules and I think that they can be applied to everyone but that is for you to decide, because not everyone is the same. Some people like to kick back, cruise through life, others want to be very intense, they want to be always number one and be successful, that is like me. I always wanted to be very intense and I always wanted to be number one. I took it very seriously in my career. This is the same when I started body building, I didn’t want just be a body builder champion, I wanted to be the best body builder at all times. The same was in the movies. I didn’t want just to be a movie star but I wanted to be a great movie star and I wanted to be a highly paid movie star. This intensity always paid off for me, this commitment always paid off for me:-)

These are my rules:

The 1st rule is: TRUST YOURSELF.

trust yrself

What is most important thing is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourselves:

‘Who do you want to be?’

Not what but WHO?

arnold-schwarzeneggar-speech-who do u want to be

I am talking about not what your parents and teachers want you to be, but YOU. I am talking about figuring out for yourselves what makes you HAPPY. No matter how crazy it may sound to other people. :-)

So rule number one is, of course, trust yourself no matter how and what anyone else thinks. I was lucky when I grew up as I did not have so many destruction as you have today such as TV, telephone, computer, i-pad, i-pod, twitter, etc. I spent a lot of time by myself so I could figure out and really listened to what was inside my heart and my head. I recognised very quickly that I had the stronger desire to leave my little village and be part of something bigger where dreams could come true. :-)

Rule number 2 is: BREAK THE RULES.

break the rules

We have so many rules in life about everything. I say break the rules. No the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you are too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules.

You have to think outside the box. That is what I believe.

After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?

The only way that I ever got anyplace was by breaking some of the rules.

Which, of course, brings me to rule number 3: DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL.

don_t_be_afraid_to_fail___by_jandesignofficial-d7a6fzf

Anything I have ever attempted, I was always willing to fail.  You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions.  You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do and success will come:-)

So don’t be afraid to fail.

Which brings me to rule number 4: DON’T LISTEN TO THE NAYSAYERS.

Arnold Schwazenneger Dont listen to the naysayers

How many times have you heard that you can’t do this, you can’t do that and it’s never been done before?

I love it when someone says that no one has never done this before, because then when I do it that means that I am the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done.

I always listen to myself and say: ‘Yes, you can.’ :-)

Yes you can

And that brings me to rule number 5, which is the most important rule of all: WORK YOUR BUTT OFF.

Arnold-Schwarzenegger work hard 1

I always believed leaving no stone unturned, Mohammed Ali, one of my great heroes, had a great line in the ‘70s when he was asked: ‘How many sit-ups do you do?’ He said, ‘I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting and that’s when it really counts.’  That’s what makes you a champion. And that’s the way it is with everything. NO PAIN NO GAIN:-)

Let me tell you, it is important to have fun in life, of course. But when you are out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard, someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that. :-)

If you want to cruise through life than don’t pay attention to none of these rules, but if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work.

None of my rules, by the way, of success, will work unless you do.

I have always figured out that there are 24 hours a day. You sleep 6 hours and have 18 hours left. I know that there are some of you out there that say well, wait a minute; I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well. Then, just sleep faster, I would recommend. ‘Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.’ – L. Peter

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-sleep faster

Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in the pockets:-)

And that takes me to rule number 6, which is a very important rule: IT’S ABOUT GIVING BACK.

GIVING BACK

Whatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something back, something back to your community, give something back to your state or to your country.

If you tear down the mirror that makes you always look at yourself, you will be able to look behind that mirror and you will see the millions of people that need your help. Let me tell you something, reaching out and helping people will bring you more satisfaction than everything else you have ever done.’ :-)

giving back arnold

I invite you to listen to the full inspirational speech by Arnold Schwarzenegger:-)

Personally, I believe that the last rule is the most important one. It has helped me to achieve most, if not all, of my successes in life. It has also gifted me with the most amazing satisfaction and accomplishments without forgetting that along the way I came to know so many remarkable people. Thank you for sharing my journey that made me a better person! :-)

VIV 2013

The only rule that I don’t agree 100% with Schwarzenegger is his most important rule: WORK HARD! I have been working very hard all my life, however in the last few years, I realised that whilst working hard is very important, working smarter is more efficient as it saves time and energy to enjoy the results of our own hard work :-)

I believe that the most important point that Schwarzenegger made in his speech is at the beginning where he said that his rules can be applied to everyone but everyone is not the same therefore you have to decide which rules to apply based on your personality. :-) In fact, I personally would have swapped some of his rules for others and added a few more, because these suit my personality more based on my experiences.

Remember that your personality and experiences will lead to your own rules to success as we are all amazingly unique and we all have different life journeys. :-) On this note, I wish to my dear Bro, all the happiness and success in the world as he truly deserves it on his special day! :-):-):-)

people-in-yr-life1

Thank you for all the amazing moments and lessons learnt, the most important of which is learning to dance in the rain :-)

Dance-in-the-Rain

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.’ – Vivian Greene

To your rules of Success :-)

Viv :-)

17 Winning Mindset Tips

To all my readers :)

Wish you are all well and dandy :)

 

Have you ever felt inadequate and overwhelmed in the face of challenges?

Have you ever experienced that your challenges seemed bigger than they actually were?

How do you feel when you need to overcome an obstacle to achieve your goal?

Obstacles 1

I was recently having a conversation with a friend and the subject of positive mindset during difficult times arose. At the time, as I was emotionally involved in her story, I could not think of a process or any practical tips I could offer her. As I left her house, I was bothered by the fact that even though mindset is one of my strengths, I was unable to use it as needed. After some consideration, I started to think about the mental process I use to conquer my challenges. Thus, this article just flew as a response to my conversation with my friend. I hope you too can benefit from it as I do. :)

It is generally acknowledged that when confronted with problems and challenges, it is easy to become overwhelmed, especially when the circumstances are unfamiliar and seem threatening and urgent. However, no matter what life throws your way, keep in mind that there are always options available, there are always things you can do, actions you can take and decisions you can make that will keep moving you forward in the right direction. :)

Here is my mindset process and 17 winning mindset tips which I personally use for conquering my obstacles:

1. Keep Things Simple

Simple 1

When dealing with obstacles, simplicity is key to your success! The more we complicate things, the more likely circumstances will overwhelm us. You must therefore keep things as simple and straightforward as possible; I can personally testify that the toughest of problems are often solved in the simplest of ways. So, if you have a simple approach to whatever you are aiming for, you are already a step ahead and in the top 3% of successful people. I have attended numerous self-development courses on a variety of subjects and the commonality of all of them is keep things simple:)

2. Step Back Emotionally

emotions

The reality is that when unexpected obstacles suddenly show up, it is easy to react emotionally to the circumstances, we all do it. However, emotional reactions are often unproductive, making the situation worse. Instead we must learn to step back from our emotions and see the situation from an external perspective — through logic and reason. It is only once we grasp the circumstances from an intellectual perspective that we begin to identify the true relevance and significance of the events that have taken place. It sounds logical, but much easier said than done. However if you apply it, I can guarantee you will reap the benefits. :)

3. Cultivate an Active Mindset & other Indispensable Qualities

mind can achieve

Now that have you stepped back emotionally, you can focus on your mindset. Would you agree that you are unlikely to overcome an obstacle if you don’t believe that you are capable of overcoming it? Your doubts will only paralyze you and focus your mind on the problems rather than the solution. You must therefore develop the necessary confidence and self-belief that will help you think more effectively about how to solve the complications in your life.

An active mindset helps you to proactively deal with challenging circumstances. It is a mindset that asks effective questions; always looks for new answers, opportunities and solutions; it is flexible, adaptable and constantly learns from past mistakes, while moving forward towards the attainment of its goals and objectives. :)

Those who successfully overcome obstacles in their lives, consistently cultivate the following qualities:

  • Positive Mindset
  • Confidence
  • Self Belief and Self Esteem
  • Gratitude
  • Optimism
  • Commitment
  • Resilience
  • Discipline
  • Patience
  • Enthusiasm
  • Wisdom

4. Don’t Blame others and don’t dwell on the Negatives

blaming

Now that we have acquired a positive mindset, it is paramount that you do not blame yourself or others for the circumstances you find yourself in. Yes, you can acknowledge that you or someone was at fault, however it is often not the person but rather the systems and processes in place that lead to this outcome. Access and revaluate these, do not lay blame, and the obstacles you are facing will eventually be conquered.

Remember, when you dwell on what you don’t want, you will get more of the same, because we attract what we focus on. Therefore if you focus on worst case scenarios that will rip your life apart, then you are not focusing on solutions, and if you are not focusing on solutions then you are unlikely to find the answers you need to help you overcome your problems.

5. Accept and Acknowledge Circumstances

acceptance

Once you have an active mindset, you can accept and acknowledge your circumstances. When confronted with an obstacle, the worst thing we can do is to deny that the problem exists. When we deny that something exists we close ourselves off to potential solutions, answers and opportunities. We must accept and acknowledge the circumstances for what they are from an optimistic, solution orientated yet very realistic perspective. :)

6. Acquire a Different Perspectives

perspective

Now you can gain a different perspective. Sometimes obstacles are only as real as we make them out to be. In fact at times obstacles are simply misunderstandings and generalizations that we have made about circumstances. At other times obstacles are only as real as the assumptions that are clouding our vision.

To begin shifting your perspective, start by viewing the situation you find yourself in from another person’s perspective. Alternatively you can use a plethora of framing and reframing techniques that will help you shift the way you think about your circumstances. :)

7. Adjust Your Priorities

priority

If you have actioned all of the above, you are ready to adjust your priorities. At times we are unable to overcome certain obstacles in our lives because our priorities are simply out of order. This is especially relevant when you consider that spending more time concentrating on developing a certain skill or gaining knowledge in a specific area of your life would have a significant impact on your ability to overcome difficult circumstances. :)

8. Ask Effective Questions

questions quality

Asking effective questions can help you gather new and different perspectives about your life and circumstances. You might want to review my previous article ‘8 Steps Process to overcoming obstacles.’ Combined, thees provide a powerful example of how questions can be used  to help shift your perspective and unlock your potential:)

9. Assess Your Obstacles

hurdles

You will rarely be able to overcome an obstacle unless you are able to figure out how it originated and weaselled its way into your life.

Ask yourself:

What went wrong?

What could have caused this?

What must I do now?

10. Think Critically and Creatively

Critical and creative thinking 1

A calm state provides you with clarity of mind, which enables you to ask better questions, think more creatively, critically and effectively about your problems. When your mind and body is calm, you naturally tap into a reservoir of internal resources that you wouldn’t have access to if you were to react emotionally to circumstances.

Throughout the course of human history obstacles and problems have been the foundations of creative and critical thinking. Or viewed in another way, without obstacles and problems there would be no need for creative or critical thought. You must therefore use these two tools to help you unlock the solutions and answers you need that will help you overcome the obstacles in your life. :)

11. List Possible Options by Experimenting in New Ways

options

Now that you have empowered yourself with powerful tools, you can tap into different options to conquer your challenges. Difficulties have a tendency to mentally lock us up, thus limiting our ability to think and gain perspective of a situation. In such instances we must realize that solutions can only be found when we open our minds to possibilities and options that we hadn’t considered before.

To do this, simply sit down with a pen and paper and ask yourself over and over again:

How can I overcome this obstacle?

What options haven’t I considered?

As previously mentioned, asking effective questions will help you gain new insights into the obstructions standing in your way. Use this information to try previously unconsidered methods and directions. It is the path less travelled that will make all the difference in the end. :)

The more options you have, the more opportunity you will have to find a suitable answer to the problem you are facing. :)

12. Seek Guidance & Gain Necessary Support and Resources

Advice Help Support And Tips Signpost Showing Information And Gu

Once you have written your list of options, tap into other people’s experiences and expertise. Often the answers we need to help us overcome the obstacles in our lives can be found by simply talking to other people. In fact, other people might have already successfully overcome the circumstances you find yourself in. As I do, seek out mentors, life coaches and experts to help you find the answers you need to move you forward towards your goals and objectives. :)

At times we simply do not have the necessary resources to help us deal with the situation at hand. In such circumstances we must question what pieces of the puzzle are currently missing, and then look for the necessary tools, strategies, knowledge and support we need to help us overcome this obstacle successfully:)

When we look for sympathy from others, we come from a point of weakness and an inability to control our fate and destiny. We must instead look to come from a place of personal empowerment, where we take full responsibility for our life and circumstances. This of course does not mean that we shouldn’t ask for help or assistance. What it does mean is that we should focus on exploring options that will move us forwards, towards the attainment of our goals and objectives. :)

13. Breathe, Take Control and Take Action

breathe

take control

take action

Now that we have worked on our mind set, assessed and evaluated our obstacles and looked for options and guidance, it is time to TAKE ACTION! It is true that when obstacles overwhelm us, our automatic response is to freeze. At first, this paralysis may seem unhelpful however it gives us time to consider and think strategically about the circumstances we find ourselves in. However, if we don’t take action, the obstacles will remain; nobody can remove them for us!

Take a moment to breathe deeply and ask yourself the following questions:

What is it that I control?

What is it that I don’t control?

How can I gain control over these circumstances?

If I cannot gain control, then how can I influence these circumstances?

If I cannot influence them, then maybe I am not seeing things clearly. Where must I look for more information?

By asking these questions and taking action you will begin to gain control over your circumstances and you can start to build momentum, enabling you to move forward towards your goals. :)

14. Take Small Steps

big-journeys-begin-small-steps 1

To start with, take small steps, this ensures that you remain in control and do not get overwhelmed by your circumstances. Break down what you need to do into small manageable chunks, and then progressively work on one or more chunks per day until you successfully reach your desired outcome.

15. Make Necessary Sacrifices

sacrifice

It’s now short-term sacrifice for long-term results time! The majority of us are simply unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices that would help us successfully overcome the problems we are confronting. Sometimes it’s not what we do, but rather what we let go of that will have the greatest impact on our lives. The effort and sacrifice required will be proportionate to your obstacles, don’t expect anything less. However, I can assure you that the rewards will be far greater than the sacrifice needed to conquer your challenges. :)

16. Learn from your Mistakes

mistakes

Now that you have taken some decisions and actioned them, don’t expect that everything will suddenly work out perfectly, you will make mistakes along your way to success. Remember that progress is built upon a myriad of mistakes that we make on a daily basis. I have made countless errors along my journey, some were big, others smaller, but one thing is certain, they were all significant in helping me learn the lessons I needed to learn. You too will learn from your mistakes and move forward in conquering your challenges. :)

Take time to learn from every unsuccessful attempt, from every failed result, and from every unsatisfactory outcome. The more you learn, the more you will grow and the better you will be able to deal with the obstacles that lie ahead on your path. :)

17. Do not Quit!

dont_quit

 

NO MATTER WHAT, DO NOT QUIT, because, as I have personally experienced, the greatest opportunities are always interlocked with the most difficult struggles of your life. I can definitely vouch for this. :)

Remember, to conquer your obstacles will not be easy. Challenges are all around to test us, to help build our character and strengthen our fortitude. Sometimes we might fall over. It is how we pick ourselves up and move forward one step at a time that will determine our success! :)

obstacles michael jordan

‘No matter how many times I break down, there is always a little piece of me that says NO, you are not done yet. Get BACK UP! The greatest human quality is that of becoming unstoppable! And you become unstoppable by refusing to quit, no matter what happens.‘ – Brian Tracy

To your successful mindset empowerment! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success‘

www.vivoliver.com

8 Steps Process to overcoming your obstacles

A warm greeting to all my readers :)

‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.’ — Frank A. Clark

Have you ever experienced difficulties and challenges before achieving one of your goals?

Have you ever appreciated something that came easily to you? Or did you appreciate it more when you sacrificed and made a real effort to achieve your goal?

Have you ever heard of the lottery winners who are worse off today than they were before they won?

They squandered their winnings because it held no value for them, they didn’t have to struggle through the obstacles, challenges and problems that self-made millionaires face, as a result even though their dream had materialised they weren’t able to hold onto it. As the saying goes ‘Easy come, easy go.’

It’s not so surprising when you think about how you feel when you achieve your goals easily or when you achieve them by overcoming obstacles.

greater the obstacle...

Which process gives you more satisfaction?

satisfaction-

I recently experienced a tough period achieving my goals; I overcome these by working on my mindset which led to this article.

I hope it helps you to deal with the obstacles that you will likely face as you progress along your journey towards the attainment of your objectives. :)

To commence, setting goals is the first step… achieving them is the second step… and surely, it is at this second step that most of us stumble. We stumble not because the goal is unachievable, but rather because of unexpected obstacles and challenges that arise along the journey that make the goal seem unachievable.

benefits of setting goals on blackboard

It is important to understand that every goal we set naturally comes with a plethora of landmines that are attached to that goal which show up in our lives as a set of hurdles, tests and problems that we must surpass in order to get to our end destination. In fact, unless we successfully manoeuvre through these difficulties and overcome them, then we will fail to learn the valuable lessons that are required to help us grow towards each stage and most importantly keep our goal when we get there. 

obstacles zig ziglar

There are three types of obstacles that you will likely face.

Firstly, personal barriers, which are related to your psychology, behaviour and state-of-mind, include limiting habits, debilitating emotions, fears and beliefs that prevent us from moving forward because of the negative thinking, inhibiting our ability to make effective decisions and undertake appropriate action that would help us create the momentum we need to get to our desired outcome.

Secondly, environmental difficulties, these are unexpected external occurrences and circumstances that we have little control over and we are usually ill-prepared to deal with these effectively. However, if we research and set in place contingency plans, we stand a greater chance of pre-empting potential pitfalls and even influencing the outcome.

To do this, begin by following Murphy’s Law:

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible time, all of the time when you least expect it. 

 murphy's law

So what are you going to do about it?

 

When you plan for the future, you gather a better understanding of the possible scenarios and consequences of your decisions and actions. Planning also gives you insight into additional resources you may need to help you overcome environmental obstacles that you could face on the journey ahead. :)

Plan-Design

Thirdly, social obstructions are related to people who either do no cooperate, sabotage you, or are incompetent and unable to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to them. Again it’s essential to forward plan and ensure that you clarify your needs adequately, your knowledge thoroughly and your instructions carefully. It also helps to develop strong bonds and relationships with the people you rely on most, safeguarding any future breakdown in communication. However don’t confuse this with trying to control people’s behaviour, decisions and actions. Instead subtly influence people and understand their needs, motives and desires. Only in this way will you successfully improve your chances of maneuvering through the social obstacles in your life.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Identify if any of these obstacles are currently preventing you from getting what you want most out of life, and choose today to take control of your thought patterns and begin making far more effective decisions. :)

effective-decision-making

As a coach, I often work with clients who are struggling to overcome personal and business obstacles. They don’t know what to do, where to begin or how to move forward. In such instances, I will ask them a series of questions that help them gain a new perspective and understanding about their circumstances. As a result they begin to unlock hidden resources they never realized they had. :)

life's challenges

I have listed below the ‘8 Steps Process to overcome your obstacles’ and integrated them with specific questions which will help you overcome your obstacles too:

STEP 1. Question the Problem

question

What are the indications that this is a problem for you?

How do you know this is accurate?

STEP 2. Question the Origins of the Problem

questions & qnswers

How did all this start?

Who or what perpetuates this problem?

STEP 3. Identify the Details

details

When did it happen?

How did it happen?

Where did it happen?

STEP 4. Determine the Consequences

Value_Graphic

What would happen if you ignored it?

When could it become a bigger problem?

What could lead to this specific outcome?

How does this affect you?

How does this affect others?

How does this affect your external life?

What other problems might be caused by resolving this obstacle?

STEP 5. Take Control

take control

Whose behaviour do you control?

What aspects of this problem can you control?

What aspects of this problem can’t you control?

How must you respond to what you can’t control?

STEP 6. Identify the Positives

positive

What is happening that is good?

What would you like to have continue to happen?

STEP 7. Gain Perspective

two points perspectives

What are your assumptions about this?

How are your assumptions contributing to the problem?

What is another perspective you haven’t considered?

Who has successfully overcome this problem?

What can you learn from this person?

STEP 8. Expand Your Options & Take Decisive Action

Just-Do-It (1)

What could you do differently?

Who could assist you?

Where haven’t you looked for a solution?

What action can I take to solve this obstacle?

How will you know when this problem has been resolved?

What is your criteria for success?

Remember, obstacles are just ‘things’ that are there to teach, strengthen and fortify you for the journey that lies ahead. We must therefore not view them as insurmountable problems that will prevent us from achieving our goals, but rather as small, and sometimes large, stepping stones that are mandatory ‘lessons’ we need to pass in order to obtain our Ph.D. in Goal Achievement. :)

obstacles m jordan

And finally, it is important to remind ourselves of the indispensable lesson that many former Lottery winners have found out the hard way, that there is only one thing worse than being poor, and that is ‘being rich and then being poor once again’. 

During the past years, this is the lesson that I have most appreciated, as I have learnt it by paying the most expensive price:

‘Take time to learn the lessons that life throws your way, because these lessons will be critical to your success as you move forward into the future.’ Viv :)

life-lessons

‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.’ – Frank A. Clark

overcome obstacles

Obstacles are placed in our way

To successfully overcoming your obstacles! :)

Viv :)

Take the 21 Day Challenge!

VIV’S CALL TO ACTION!!! :)

It is time to get busy!

I am challenges you to stop settling; to move from where you are to where you deserve to be.

I want to help motivate you to stop accepting the life that was given to you and make a serious and conscientious effort toward the life you want. With that being said, I ask you a favour… TAKE THE CHALLENGE! :)

GIVE 150% FOR 21 DAYS!

21 day challenge 1

NEXT STEPS: Upon accepting the 21 Day Challenge, I ask that you make the following 3 steps:

1) CAST A VISION vision

What will your life look like after 21 days?

What do you want to happen?

What is mediocre?

What bondage will you break?

2) DO IT RIGHT! do it right Do it right or don’t do it at all!

The time of doing things by half is over.

Stop putting in 50, 60 or even 70 percent effort.

Only accept 150% for 21 days!

3) NO EXCUSES, ONLY ADJUSTMENTS! no excuses

Everyone has excuses but Viv doesn’t want to hear them and neither should you. The time for excuses has run out! 00:00 After 21 Days:

  • Document your findings.
  • Share your true growth.
  • Tell us what changed and send us your video.

If you are on a team, or coach, share your success story within the locker room or on the playing fields.

If you teach or sit in the classroom, share your success that way.

Perhaps you need a change in the workplace; we want to hear that too.

No matter where you are in life, you can make a difference in your situation.

It starts TODAY, so join the movement! :)

This is my personal 21 Day Challenge:

2 hours daily workout in preparation to my Tough Mudder

Lose 1% body fat

Gain 1% muscle

Cycling, running and walking as only means of transport.

What about your 21 Day Challenge? 

21 days to break an habit

Remember, I truly can’t wait to see how your life will change in the next 21 days.

I am super excited to hear your feedback; to hear about your successes and your triumphs as well as to share my personal one with you.

amazing

Remember: When you put in 150 percent you get back 150 plus! 

I can personally vouch for it Go ahead! Put on your hard hat and let’s get to work. :)  

Without struggle, there is no progress. ‘Without struggle, there is no strength.’ – Oprah doesnt challenge

I encourages you to learn from your past instead of allowing it to stop you from achieving your goals and use its lessons to make the rest of your time the best of your life. :)

When you know better, you’ll do better. So, now you know! Stop giving 70, 80, or even 90 percent…

Put in 150% and help change the lives of others around you.

Your 150% affects your family, friends and community. :)

Let’s go! Let’s work! Take the 21 Day Challenge! :) 21 day challenge heapi

I am also participating at the Tough Mudder and I have a fundraising page  https://localgiving.com/vivthoughmudder where you can donate as little as you can!

Every donation will go to the charity organisation Urban Voice UK who TEACHES YOUNG PEOPLE HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL. It has used Creativity, Entrepreneurship,  Education  & personal development training to engage youth across the UK, for over 10 years. Through its courses and programmes, participants many from disadvantages backgrounds have gone on to obtain a degree, find jobs and pursue their career paths.

Thank you for your generosity and for being part of young people lives :)

given To your 21 day Challenge Success! :)

Viv :)

My personal note: THANK YOU :-)

Hello to one & all :)

2013 has drawn to a close and another amazing and joyful year to look forward to will begin. :)

What about 2013?

What did we achieve in 2013?

Before DREAMING BIG for 2014, I believe that we have to look back to 2013 to celebrate our successes and learn from our mistakes to be better equipped for a optimistic and happy 2014.

Celebrate yr success

Celebrating our success is something most people are not good at, instead people happily share their failures, as if they are afraid that people will think they’re crazy for being successful.

Just remember like most things in life, success goes in cycles. :)

Many people ask: ‘How long does it take to become successful quickly?

Sir Sugar once said: ‘It takes 10 years to get rich quickly…you need to both learn how to do it and then ride at least one cycle…Are you ready for the next cycle?...

SirAlanSugar 1

It’s true there is no overnight get rich quick formula, our success is based on determination, perseverance, positivity, consistency, tenacity, passion and hard work just to mention a few. :)

Take the time to list on a notebook your accomplishments, I am sure, like me, that you will be surprised of many goals you have achieved in 2013, and whatever you have achieved in 2013, tiny or huge, give yourself a pat on the back and a standing ovation! WELL DONE! :)

 well done

What did we set out to achieve in 2013 that we haven’t achieved YET?

List what you still have to achieve. You need to write them down and acknowledge them but remember to focus on the word YET, because you can still achieve goals, if you really wish to. :)

What is the difference that makes the difference to your answers above?

What are your PERSONAL rules for success?

Jot them down and once you have listed them, stick to them, then you know what you need to do accomplish your goals for 2014. :)

Whilst doing this exercise with my coach, he introduced me to a new formula called ‘Physical creation‘. Everything is created twice: firstly, in our mind and secondly in physical form.

This is the formula:

Physical creation: FUNC (Energy, Clarity & Time)

These are the four obtainable results:

↑ Energy ↑ Clarity ↓ Time to create what you wish

↓ Energy ↓ Clarity ↑ Time to create what you wish

↓ Energy ↑ Clarity ↑ Time to create what you wish

↑ Energy ↓ Clarity ↑ Time to create what you wish

The time involved to accomplish your goal on the last three results depends on how long you will take to align your energy and clarity on what you wish to achieve.  Remember that time is our most precious commodity and time lost cannot be regained!

time lost cannot be regained

I guess if you are like me, you need a little more explanation :)

Physical creation is the function of energy, clarity and time.

When you have energy and clarity about what you wish to accomplish, you employ less time to achieve it. I invite you to test this theory by thinking about a past accomplished goal. Before obtaining it, you had energy and clarity about what you wished to achieve. How long did it take you?

Then think of a time when you had energy but no clarity or clarity but no energy about what you wished to accomplish. You would have spent a considerable amount of time in obtaining your goal. Only when your energy and your clarity were aligned with what you wished to achieve did you finally reach your goal. I also invite you to test this theory by thinking about a past goal when you had neither energy nor clarity. How long did it take you to achieve it?

Now that we have understood the ‘Physical creation’ formula, we have celebrated our successes of 2013 and discovered our personal success formula to achieve our goals, :) we might ask these questions: 

How are you going to approach this coming year 2014?

Are your goals set?

Are your plans in place?

Are you committed to seeing them through to the end?

THE FACT IS…

It’s irresponsible to start 2014 unfocused, unprepared, and uncommitted.

Yet, that is going to be the reality for far too many people. Ensure that it’s not going to be that way for you.

Be mindful, a big challenging goal has limited value if it’s not achieved, and expecting to get better results in the New Year from the same old behaviour will only succeed in perpetuating your current situation. It will NOT get you to another level of performance.

Great companies, lives, and families are built around superior execution skills. The better you execute, the better you perform, and the bigger the challenges you can take on. It’s that simple.:)

If your 2014 plans include achieving some BIG GOALS, then you must decide that what you want is bigger and far more important than any fear which prevents you from achieving it.

let yoru dreams be bigger than yiur fears

Fear is never a reason for not starting or quitting. It’s only an excuse for those unwilling to face their doubts, insecurities, and mental demons.

Therefore, your first duty in rising to meet the demands of a challenging goal is to conquer the fear and the mental resistance it brings along with it.

Before 2014 begins, you must shine a flashlight on your character and inspect yourself for will, courage and grit. You will need these to achieve your goals.

You must decide right NOW, that you are going to put fear behind you, that you are going to stare it down, and walk straight through it, advancing toward the goals you want with confidence, conviction, and certainty.:)

action will

Perseverance is ultimately a physical, emotional, and spiritual demonstration of how badly you want to succeed.:)

As it should be, it’s constantly fueled by a heart-pounding, ego-bashing, soul-searching test of your limits. :)

So let them see you sweat, as YOU express your greatness not by the acts you perform, not by the goals you achieve, but by the gritty perseverance that made those acts possible.

If you passionately believe that you are up to the challenge and committed to seeing your goals achieved in 2014, it is your right and responsibility to cultivate an unbeatable mindset and persevere until the end. :)

Some of the two most powerful words in English are ‘LET US’, it’s about collective success. It is how we are going to become more successful by inspiring each other to succeed.:)

everything in life up

LET US make 2014 our best year yet! :)

2014 best year yet

Before you make your goals for 2014, watch this INCREDIBLE MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO.

Even though, 2013 has been a very tough year for me, the toughest one so far, I can only describe it as a rapid roller coaster of emotions and pain accompanied with a lot of success but even more failures and plagued with health issues where along the way, I met some remarkable people but lost a few too, one of whom sculpted and affected my life with his priceless lessons. I will never forget you and your lessons. :)

However, the highlights of 2013 have been immeasurable such as running my Marathon, my Health & Fitness qualifications, writing this blog thanks to all your feedback, notes, comments, emails, suggestions to incentivise me to write every month and travelling to four different continents for my book launch ‘The Book on Success’ winning two Author awards ‘The Winning Mindset Award’ & ‘The Success Steward Award’. I visited some wonderful places, embarked in new challenging adventures, discovered  and appreciated new cultures and histories, tasted so many different dishes and learnt many useful skills but the cherry on the cake was meeting all the amazing talented individuals along the way and the happy and unforgettable moments, laughs, jokes and smiles we shared.:):)

the-happiest-people-dont-have-the-best-of-everything

I never could have accomplished those things without being ready to make mistakes, ruffle some feathers, or ‘falling’. I can assure you, day after day, I have experienced countless failures but I have employed them as springboards to strengthen my character and achieve my ultimate goals because I never gave up. As Mandela wisely said:

mandela great leaders

 So, I ask you:

 What fall did you experience this year?

 Ensure you learn from it while celebrating your SUCCESS! :)

I want to conclude this year by thanking every single person that has accompanied me on my journey because I would not be who I am today and my life would not have been so enriched as it is now. It does not matter if it has been a short or long part of my journey, what matters is that you have been part of it and you have taught me some life priceless lessons that I will never forget. :)

TO YOU, all my dear friends, family, coaches, mentors, trainers, readers, mentees, business partners, colleagues and acquaintances…to every single person that has touched and enriched my life, especially my dear, amazing and phenomenal Bro with his very wise motto and post blog ‘Health before Wealth‘, this article is a tribute and a dedication to YOU:):):)

VIV 2013

‘Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be, but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way!’ – Viv

Thank you, to all of you, with all my heart for being part of my life! :)

Viv:)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

4 Steps to Keep Fit During the Holidays

Hello to all my readers :)

How are you going to approach this coming holiday season?

What comes to mind when you think about the holidays?

What about holiday and fitness?

healthy holidays

Holiday and fitness? Some of you might think, ‘She must be joking, this isn’t an appropriate combination’. If you are caught in this type of thinking, believe me, you are not alone. I used to think the same. However, I grew up in a small town near the sea where holidays were generally associated with the beach (with the exception of the December holiday :)). Therefore keeping fit was always part of the deal, unless you were willing to go to a beach where nobody knew you (not likely as my town was very small and everyone knew each other) or getting taunted by your peers which obviously was not something anyone would want to invite. Believe me, unless you wanted to move to another town for the holiday seasons, these were strong motivators for keeping fit. :)

healthy

Others might think, ‘Bring it on…the high-calorie food and drinks; I have earned it after a year of hard work!’ You are not alone; the majority of people probably think like this.

It’s really no wonder we gain weight during the holidays. Generally speaking, most people lose sight of their fitness and fat loss goals entirely this month, only to have a rude awakening in January when their clothes are too tight.

For the last 3 years, during December to February I am at my fittest which goes against the accepted statistic, as usual. :) This got me thinking about what I did differently in these months, so alongside my coach, I came up with 4 concepts which I would like to share with you. I want to make sure you don’t forget your goals exactly the same way that my coach keeps me accountable to my goals. This post is addressed to those, who like me, want to sidestep those holiday pounds.:)

changes

These are my 4 steps to keep fit this holiday season:

Step #1: Get Focused on your Goals

‘Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.’ – Paulo Coelho

So many of our holiday traditions are focused on food. This holiday season try to draw your attention away from food and on to what’s really important, friends, family, giving and reflecting on your past years efforts. Stay focused on these rather than the plate full of hors d’oeuvres in front of you.

Be aware that the holidays can be a time of emotional eating. Sometimes stress, family conflict, or even depression can be triggered. If this happens to you, address the root of your problems with solutions other than food or drink. It’s important that you don’t lose sight of your fitness goals. Remind yourself of all the progress that you’ve made. Celebrate your successes but not with food. :) Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. :)

reach goals

Step #2: Use Effective Strategies

Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling.’ – Naveen Jain

It’s important to use a strategy when approaching the many celebrations held at this time of year. With night after night of parties and events, you’ll need to pace yourself in order to keep your diet on track. :)

The most obvious and effective strategy is to arrive at the party not hungry. Instead, eat a small low-calorie snack ahead of time to prevent overeating. When it’s time for extreme measures, wear tight-fitting clothes around your waist so there’s not much room for expansion.

Another idea is to chew gum before and after a meal, so you won’t be tempted to overindulge in appetizers and desserts. During the party, don’t stand next to the food table, instead keep a safe distance. And before you get a plate of food, choose your selections wisely. Use a small plate instead of a large dinner plate and don’t go back for seconds!

One of the most important strategies is figuring out how to exercise between parties. Finding room in your busy holiday schedule for exercise will help you fight off the extra weight trying to attach itself to your midsection and rear. You don’t have to spend an hour at the gym, there are very time effective exercise which you can do in less than 5 minutes such as HIIT and Tabata. It will require effort, planning and a strong mindset which I call mental metal as you will go against crowd thinking and behaviour but I can assure you the end results will be worth the sacrifice! :) If you want to know more, my dear Bro recently wrote an excellent article on ‘Highly effective workout in less than 5 minutes…‘ I encourage you to read this inspiring post on www.springboardyourself.com/2013/12/10/highly-effective-workouts-in-less-than-5-minutes

strategies

Step #3: Preparation and Moderation are the keys!

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ – Benjamin Franklin

‘The choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation.’ – Benjamin Disraeli

I am not suggesting that you completely deprive yourself, as this will likely lead to a splurge that ruins all your good intentions. Be smart about what you choose to eat. Prepare what you are going to eat and above all prepare yourself mentally to overcome the challenges, I speak by experience. :) Enjoy the goodness of the season, but in moderation. Reduce calories where you can by limiting your trimmings, cheeses, sauces, creams and nuts.

Some of your favourite indulgences may only come around at this time of year. Instead of stuffing yourself, survey what foods are available and make your choices. Have your favourites and leave the everyday dishes for another time. Only eat what you love, and don’t just eat something because it’s on the buffet.

Also, be sure to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. You may not know it but it’s highly calorific. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink, like unsweetened fruit juice diluted with water.

prepatation & moderation

Step #4: Review to Success

‘Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.’ – Les Brown

It is important to review own results. This means we need to understand what we did right to keep doing it and what we did wrong to avoid it. We celebrate our successes and we learn lessons from our mistakes! This is the most effective way to achieve our goals and see tangible results. So, review your week without fail to avoid regret when the holidays are over. I personally have a journal for my fitness and dieting. It really helps me be objective, it’s all there in black and white and I cannot hide behind excuses, but above all it assists me to accelerate the achievement of my goals. :)

measure your success

You might have noticed that all these tips involve working mainly on your mindset as this is the key to your success. :)

mindset performance loop

Follow these simple tips, and you will avoid weight gain this holiday season and start 2014 off on the right footing.

Exercise is a huge part of the equation when it comes to achieving fitness goals such as weight loss. :)

I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results, without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes. Contact me today to get started on my best available program.  :)

Remember, you can create your life just the way you want it. Take action NOW! :)

‘Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. ACT! Action will delineate and define you.’ – Thomas Jefferson

Action speak louder than words…’ – Mark Twain

running

To your keeping fit during the holiday! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

 

 

7 Lessons from Albert Einstein’s School of Hard Knocks

Hello to all my readers, :)

 

Have you ever wondered which school is classified as the best for success? 

What is the real secret of successful people?

Have you ever thought how come most successful people seem to go from one success to another without obstacles?

 

‘The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.‘ – Herbert Agar

We often associate certain names with the characteristic of excellence. David Beckham with football, Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web and Pablo Picasso with art.

What if you had to name the genius of the 20th century?

Without a doubt, Albert Einstein would be nominated.  :) Why?

Albert-Einstein-simple

Although we know him as one of the smartest men ever born, at school he was average at best. He shunned certain classes for the mediocrity of education and mocked teachers who were irritated by his lack of obedience. His Greek grammar teacher, Joseph Degenhart, achieved immortality in the history books through insisting that ‘nothing would ever become of you.’ Later, when Einstein was told it would be best if he left the school, Degenhart explained, ‘Your presence in the class destroys the respect of the students.’ Disgusted by the rote teaching, Einstein quit high school at the age of fifteen. The rest is history. :)

This man of great scientific feats was also a man of noble heart and uncanny wisdom gained from the school of hard knocks. He often struggled to pay bills until the age of 26 when he wrote three papers that revolutionized our world.

Is it the type of school that defined a person’s charisma and intelligence?

What are Albert Einstein’s 7 lessons from the School of Hard Knocks that characterise  successful people?

Lesson # 1  Invest in the success of others.

albert-einstein-quotes Invest in suc

In his famous essay, ‘The world as I see it’, Albert Einstein wrote: ‘A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving…’ :)

Those who succeed in life understand that success comes to those who make the conscious effort every day to give back to their family, friends and the community. When we invest our life energy into ensuring the success of others, our reciprocity encourages our own success. For example through blogging, I have found when I try to uplift others by sharing my experience and knowledge, I too receive positivity and connection from countless people who take the time to visit my blog and to comment on my articles. :)

Lesson # 2  Never stop growing.

Albert_Einstein_Message Never stop growing

‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.’- Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein’s dislike for conventional schooling never had any influence on his passion for learning. Throughout his life he passionately explored nature and its vastness to seek answers to mysteries that intrigued his mind. A life of solitude and self-study made him into the eminent scientist we recognise.

In our life we learn by meeting different people, by exploring our ideas to solve the common issues and by relentless desire to improve our way of life. Personally, I have learned many lessons of life after I left the school.

Lesson # 3  Your life is limited by the limits of your thoughts.

AlbertEinstein limited

‘Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.’ – Albert Einstein

We are educated to consider life with logic. We learn how to get from A to B with merit but we equally abhor thoughts of charting our own course to get from A to B. We are taught to excel at knowledge that already exists. We are infused with the fear of self-doubt to even consider an alternative path.

History has shown that those who contributed the most to mankind were the ones who defied the accepted knowledge of the masses. They dared to imagine what was considered impossible at the time. For example, the 6th century BC Greek mathematician Pythagoras said that the Earth was round and in the 3rd century BC Greek astronomer Aristarchus said that the Earth revolved around the sun. In both cases their ideas were rejected as preposterous.

‘Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.’
– Confucius

Lesson # 4  Simplify everything you do.

Albert einstein simplify

‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.’ – Albert Einstein

Life is simple and those who succeed definitely master the art of simplicity in everything that they passionately do. Warren Buffet was once asked why he hadn’t invested in Microsoft despite being a close friend of Bill Gates. He answered ‘I don’t invest if I don’t understand the underlying business.’ It’s a simple answer but one that Buffet adheres to and it has served him well. :)

James Michener, in his memoir, The World Is My Home, revealed the secret his work when he wrote: ‘Good writing…consists of trying to use ordinary words to achieve extraordinary results.’ :)

All of our wisdom and knowledge dies a horrible death if we do not possess the deftness of expressing our knowledge in simple words to the rest of the world.

Lesson # 5 Live a simple Life.

Alb einstein live a simple life

In his famous essay, ‘The world as I see it’, Albert Einstein wrote, ‘The trite objects of human efforts — possessions, outward success, luxury — have always seemed to me contemptible.’

One of the myths of our society is that ‘more’ will make us ‘happier’. We invest our life energy to possess lifeless possessions. We are educated to foster consumption with the mantra of – ‘The more, the better.’ We are educated to have a great job. A great job requires luxuries to fulfill our outlandish desire to impress others. Before we realize it, we mortgage our freedom to the possessions that bring more sorrow and inner grief in a vain hope to show off to the masses. A life of happiness and inner peace rests upon the virtue of simplicity.

Seldom do schools teach or promote the value of living a simple life or the value of living within our means. The current subprime mortgage crisis is a wakeup call for all of us. It is madness to accumulate more possessions when we cannot afford them in the vain hope that they will make us happy.  It becomes an endless loop of self-pity. Feeling part of something greater than ourselves and having what we need brings a life of contentment. :)

Lesson # 6  Never quit!

Alb Eins never quit

‘It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.’ – Albert Einstein

Our conventional education rewards those who succeed in exhibiting their knowledge of books. Students with the ability to memorise rather than the power of creativity are rewarded for their stupendous bookish knowledge. Our dislike of failure comes from the years of schooling that abhors failure. It’s the fear of failure that limits our thoughts and restricts our imagination. Albert Einstein’s passion for physics and his dislike for conventional schooling allowed him to become the greatest scientist of the 20th century. History has countless examples of people who never ceased to imagine, question and discover what intrigued their minds. Success comes to those in abundance who dare to imagine and find solutions that would benefit mankind. These brave people understand the value of failure to gain knowledge that can lead to the peaks of success. :)

Lesson # 7  We are creatures of our values and character.

Alb EIns value and character

‘Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.’ – Albert Einstein

Every bookstore carries a plethora of books on success and we flock to seminars that promise and sell instant success themes to our insecure minds. Our culture adores instant success to such an extent that thoughts of failure or the fact that achieving your goal will take time, shake even the strongest will. The reality is a far cry from our fake belief. There will be obstacles and failures along the way but we must bounce back from the lows. In today’s world, the ‘get rich quick’ mantra shuns the virtues of value and character. We all know that a man without values and character is doomed to fail miserably in life.

‘I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves — this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.’
~Albert Einstein

So, from the school of hard knocks, Albert Einstein taught us to work selflessly for others, to never stop growing our minds, to love our imagination, to make our thoughts simple enough for others to understand, to live a life of simplicity, to never quit no matter what it takes to succeed and above all, live a life of the highest values and character. :)

Albert-Einstein-Quote imagination

Are you a graduate of Einstein’s school of hard knocks?

Remember, success is not a straight line, it has curves, valleys and peaks to climb but at the end, it will be worth it! :)

succeed 1

‘Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you will become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals that can give you the deepest and most long lasting sense of fulfillment.‘ – A. Robbins

alb einst man of value

To your success!

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com