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 :)

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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 :-)

Discover your inner Mandela. Call for action : Become the Leader of Tomorrow!

Hello to everyone :)

Hope my latest post finds you well :)

Have you ever wondered why some people have a greater influence than others?

Have you ever wondered how people become leaders?

Have you ever asked yourself: ‘How can I tell if I am a good leader, or perhaps even a great one?’

5-Hidden-Qualities-of-a-Great-Leader

‘It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.’ – Nelson Mandela

Mandela leadership

What a description of a leader!

I hope most of you will agree that Nelson Mandela is a shining example of what a leader should epitomize. His positive impact not only inspired his country but the minds, hearts, and souls of billions across the world. :)

We could speak endlessly of his courage, principles and his commitment to righteousness, his contributions to the African continent, his suffering and sacrifices, his humble roots and his too-numerous-to-mention accolades.

However, what he is a supreme example of is how to be a leader. :)

Mandela do  it again

In broad terms leaders fall into two categories, tough or nice.

If you’re tough — a “driver” — you can push people to go beyond the limits of their abilities.

If you’re nice — an “enhancer” — you can better understand the needs, problems, and concerns of your charges.

It’s a hard choice and therefore being a leader is not straightforward.

Being successful is not easy, being a leader is not easy, and not getting torn down by negative influences is even harder. My coaches and mentors have told me that there is a lot of room at the top, but it’s the bottom that’s crowded. We have two choices in life; we can either live in an ocean of sameness or a lake of differentiation.

Which one do you choose?

It’s your personal choice, no one can make it for you, so be wise in your decision. :)

So what does it take to be a leader?

Here are 6 of Mandela’s transformational lessons that could turn you into the next leader.

 

1. Be a Visionary

Mandela vision

‘Give us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for – because unless we stand for something we shall fall for anything’ – Peter Marshall

A clear vision helps you pursue dreams and achieve goals; an idea of the future, a strong wish. A vision that is clear will open your mind to the endless possibilities of the future. :)

Make a mental picture in your mind, add feelings and emotions to that mental picture, envisage taking every step to its completion, give thanks like you’ve already received your wish and keep the emotions parallel to the vision. Do the things that will contribute to your vision and in time it will manifest. :)

Being a visionary will help you to overcome obstacles and hold on when times are tough. A vision that is well defined helps you to focus and create a purpose that becomes your measurement for your success. A strong and compelling vision is in line with your values, interests and desires. It connects with your passions and greatest potential giving you the edge in bringing it into reality. You feel much more valuable as a person when you set and achieve visions and goals. :)

You can see that being a visionary is key to success throughout your life. It determines whether you win or lose. Vision gives you a glimpse of your inner potential. Being a visionary is 50% mental completion process and 50% physically acting towards that vision. This mental completion process requires that you see with your mind and not with your eyes, the reason for this is that what you see with your eyes can contradict and potentially compromise your vision and therefore your goal.

Remember that vision is something you will actually achieve. You should follow the law of taking action. Action is not something you say but rather something you do. So get off your ASSETS and make something happen. Leaders ooze action, they move mountains, plough through obstacles and refuse to take no for an answer. They don’t sit on the couch waiting for the world to come to them. They are visionaries and they make their lives happen:)

Mandela impossible

 

2. In leadership, character is more important than strategy

Mandela character

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf once defined leadership as a potent combination of strategy and character but, he said, if you ever have to be without one, be without the strategy. Some of Mandela’s questionable strategies and decisions could easily have led to his political undoing but his strength of character as a leader compensated for occasional lapses of judgement.

Where did Mandela develop his remarkable resolve and character as a leader?

These qualities emerged early during his school-years. His anti-apartheid convictions resulted in expulsions and continuous strife with school authorities. Despite consistent misdemeanours he made it into law school, passed the bar and went on to establish the most successful black law firm in South Africa – a remarkable feat in those days. Eventually, he would serve 27 years hard labour. In his later years in prison– he was finally released in 1990 – he was offered his freedom if he would renounce his commitment to armed struggle. He refused.

3. Be prepared for Short Term Sacrifice

real leaders

Leaders know that one of the key ingredients to success is short term sacrifice for long term success. They evaluate their cost opportunity before taking any decision to ensure that the benefits gained will be worth more than the sacrifices made. However, everyone needs to sacrifice something; this is part of the journey of life. :)

Think: if Mandela could sacrifice 27 years of his life for the greater good of the South African people, I am adamant that you can lay off all the distractions and temptations that are stopping you from achieving your goals. Here is a valuable tip: Resist temptation and stay strong because the sacrifices you make now will bear fruit for the rest of your life. :)

4. Make Gut based Decisions

Mandela courage

Every leader makes decisions fast. There are 3 ways to think: with our mind, heart and gut.

When you think with your mind, the more reasons you are going to find not to do something.  This is called analysis by paralysis.

The second way is to think with the heart. These tend to be emotionally based decisions not driven by logic or reason but something that is hard to describe. Many people have been burned doing this.

The third way is to think with your gut. Research has shown that intuition – a feeling that something is right or wrong – is one of the ways our brains store, process and retrieves information.  The brain draws on past experiences and current external cues to make a decision; a process so rapid that the reaction is subconscious. This is why when we make a decision with our gut we are often right but once our brains and hearts become involved things start to get cloudy.

Remember the lesson here is to make decisions on the spot and then you can re-evaluate them. Entrepreneurs don’t say I have to think about it, they make a decision and then they re-evaluate it.

5. Be Innovative

Innovation

Leaders are innovative, continually thinking forward to the next trend or invention. If you don’t keep asking yourself how do I cut through the clutter, how do I differentiate myself… there is little chance you will ever succeed and even less become a leader.

Remember how you change is how you succeed and if you don’t, you will never truly live the life you want and you deserve.

Remember there is someone behind you who is looking at taking your place in the market.

Mandela success and failure

6. Be Humble, Forgive & Give

Mandela prison

He also understood the power of forgiveness. Despite 27 years in prison, he emerged with his sense of justice intact — but no discernible bitterness. He maintained his faith in people no matter what, that people would come right in the end, he said. He was in a prison for something he didn’t do and when he came out the first thing he did was forgive the person that had put him there. The world is a challenging and cold place at times, seeing through that and trying to make a difference is difficult but a great leader cannot hold grudges.

Mandela was a humble man. He didn’t cling to power. He empowered. He announced during the election that he would serve only one five-year term – a remarkable action not only in Africa, a continent riddled with corrupt leaders who refuse to cede power, but also for someone who had waited so long and given so much to reach that position. A leader has to be better than his detractors, he has to be humble and not allow his ego to get in the way. He has think of the greater good. He has to freely share with the world his knowledge, experience, expertise and acumen:)

Mandela Humble

He was a courageous and resolute leader. His character and visionary actions, stamina and resilience were profound. Yet, his most enduring legacy will not be the things he did, but what he didn’t do, he was the pattern breaker and refused to succumb to the seductive pull of revenge and the politics of hatred that infected large parts of the anti-apartheid movement. As a consequence, South Africa was saved from a grizzly civil war that would have torn the nation apart. That will be his greatest legacy. :)

M

Nelson Mandela played his role magnificently and we can learn great lessons from his life. He served as a role model, conveying messages through his personal actions and his words about what kind of behaviour, what kind of culture, would characterize the new South Africa he envisioned. :)

But now it’s time for a new generation of leaders to emerge, leaders willing and motivated to empower and develop other leaders to confront corruption and transform institutions for good. Great leaders create great leaders:)

Leaders create leaders

Mandela’s legacy is larger than racial justice and more widespread than his country or continent. His legacy lies in the lessons about leadership he left for all of us. His goal was to change not only laws but behaviour.

What is your greatest legacy?

You are the only person that can honestly answer this question.

There is a potential leader inside us all Leadership is something that is contagious and spreads for the greater good of us all. There is no perfect manual on how to be a great leader but rather great people we look up to and try to emulate in our own way. I know personally that if it was not for my coaches and mentors, I wouldn’t even be writing this article. :)

This is one of my favourite quotes: ‘There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.’ – Nelson Mandela

Mandela no playing small

Life is full of choices. And each of us has the choice of how we want to impact the world. Some choose to leave the world a worse place than they found it. Some choose to leave it the same as they found it. Some choose to leave it a much better place. :)

Mandela what counts in life

Which one is your choice?

Just remember that ‘We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.’ – N. Mandela mandela change the world

You have the power beyond measure to achieve what you want and to become the next leader of tomorrow! 

 Mandela deepest fear

Mandela next generation leader

To the discovery of your inner leader :)

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

Who knows you?

Hello readers :)

Have you ever heard the saying ‘you get out of life what you put into it’?  

Better yet, how about ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’?  

Everyone has heard these sayings at some point in their life. But how can you apply these sayings to relationships?

‘I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.’ – Walter Cronkite

what it takes

This quote and principle applies very well to functioning relationships. Simply, the success you achieve in relationships will be proportionate to the quality and quantity of the effort you put in. If you do everything it takes to make a functioning relationship work, it probably will. This will not be easy as relationships are not static. Once we are in a relationship, we still have to work at it as people’s personalities and circumstances evolve with time. Also challenges are all around us, testing our relationships and helping us to build our character and strengthen our fortitude. Sometimes we might fail with someone. It is how we pick ourselves up and move forward one step at a time that will determine the success in our relationships. ‘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!

down-but-not-out-logo

The greatest human quality is that of becoming unstoppable. And you become unstoppable by refusing to quit, no matter what happens.‘ – Brian Tracy

never give up

Relationships are fundamental to our personal evolution. We are all in relationships in one form or another and we talk about them endlessly. If we are not mothers, we are fathers or daughters or sons or brothers or sisters or friends or work colleagues and often multiples of these.

What is the importance of relationships?

Simply, they provide opportunities to keep in touch with our emotions and with the emotions of others such as joy, a sense of connectedness and fulfillment. And if they don’t work, we feel frustrated, unhappy and possibly alone.

You might ask, what is the reason for all this?

The answer lies in our human needs. We have the need to share our successes, stories, projects, adventures, inspiration, frustration and pain just to mention a few. If we don’t share, we feel that something or more likely someone is missing from our life.

Friendship-Day

We have all come across people who say that to help another person move their life forward is one of the most rewarding experiences. I strongly believe that there is nothing more gratifying than helping people achieve their goals and to see them glowing with a new sense of their own possibilities. I am sure that most of you will agree with me.

Think for a moment, can we start a family by ourselves?

With whom do we build a successful business, pursue projects and share ideas?

There will always be exceptions, but most of us will spend time with friends, families and work colleagues. The reality is that we cannot live without others. This is not an easy concept to accept as we love to think we are independent. If you speak with successful people in any arena of life and business, they will state that much of their success is determined by who they work with. In short, we depend on each other.

friendship stars

Think about humankind’s history. From the beginning of what we know, till now, humans have always looked for unity and companionship as families, communities, teams, friends and colleagues. Our ancestors understood that a unified group made them stronger and more able to achieve common goals. Even today, our lives are centered on supporting, inspiring and sharing with each other. After thousands of years and advancements in many areas of our lives, we still need to fulfill the same necessity of being in relationships.

team work

Then, if this is the reality, why are many relationships not so easy?

That’s the tricky part. ‘Where there is no struggle there is no strength‘ – Oprah Winfrey. This is a very powerful quote; I attached it to my fridge so I never forget to make more effort in my relationships and my goals. In my life I have felt the pain of mistakes I have made, but ultimately it has made me wiser and stronger! You have to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone when you meet obstacles along the way. See it as an opportunity to become more and to achieve more in your life. All the effort we employ in accomplishing our goals is not in vain, it makes us resilient and each minor success energizes us and gives us the strength to keep going. When we attain our goals with the help of others then I can assure you, the joy, satisfaction, gratitude and fulfillment are limitless. When we spend time with others simply interacting, our lives are more enjoyable and the memories last in our hearts forever. ‘You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won’t mean as much as when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known that person forever…. connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.”  ―  C. Joybell. This quote illustrates well our need to bond with others.

friend happy

The above quote also differentiates between communication and connection. We communicate verbally, through the written word and with our body language but we connect with our hearts. When our feelings and emotions are involved, we are better able to understand what it is to be in another person’s shoes.

Here is an example of a beautiful passage: ‘Sometimes in life, you find a special friend. Someone who changes your life just by being a part of it. Someone who makes you laugh until you can’t stop. Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world. Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it. This is forever friendship. When you’re down and the world seems dark and empty, your forever friend lifts you up in spirit and makes that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full. Your forever friend gets you through the hard times, the sad times and the confused times. If you turn and walk away, your forever friend follows. If you lose your way, your forever friend guides you and cheers you on. Your forever friend holds your hand and tells you that everything is going to be okay. And if you find such a friend, you feel happy and complete because you need not worry. You have a forever friend, and forever has no end.’ :)

friendship 1

So, who knows you? 

When we connect we develop a deeper level of relationship. This is true of not only friendships and families but the world of business has recently begun to see the powerful value of it too. In fact, I have often heard at business events and seminars that the currency of this century is connection and not money. This is reflected by the fact that companies are increasingly engaging in network events in order to make connections with other businesses with the aim of being mutually beneficial.

When I think about relationships, my starting point is to remember that everything we have learnt came to us through someone else’s hands. At our best, we pass on this borrowed existence to others, enhanced by our own contribution. At our worst, we waste and misuse it. I have decided to pass mine. I feel my life has been an amazing journey. I have learnt a lot from every person I have met along the way, many of whom have touched my life and heart in unforgettable ways. :)

You have to wake up every morning and ask yourself:

How much do you want this relationship?

How much work are you willing to put in for the people you want and need in your life?

What are you willing to give up in pursuit of your dream?

Nothing great comes without effort. But I promise you that if it’s something of great meaning in your heart and something you need in your lifeEVERY risk, EVERY step, EVERY tear and EVERY drop of sweat will be WORTH IT! :)

relationship 1

We are all in the same game of life, just different levels. No matter what level you are at, if you really want to be successful in both relationships and other areas of your life follow your heart and passion but temper it with logic. You don’t need to be afraid of the mistakes you made in previous relationships and the ones you are going to make in the future. These are all part of your journey to reach your destination. Also remember that sometimes you need to pause to reflect and fully appreciate the people you meet along the way who enrich your life and assist you in becoming a better you. Even if you might find someone who at first appears destructive, they may have important lessons to teach you. :)

One of the secrets of any relationship is to Be the authentic you! You need to be your authentic self to enjoy the journey and only when you appreciate who you are then others will too. People can often discern whether you are authentic or not. The only person you are fooling is yourself!

be yourself

If you have a challenging relationship simply ask yourself:

  • What is my part in the dynamic of this relationship?
  • What can I do differently?
  • How can I make this work?
  • What behaviour will set me on course towards a successful outcome?
  • How can I bring out the best in myself?
  • What can I do to live a meaningful relationship?

‘There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.’ – Tom Krause. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up. You are not defeated when you lose, you are only defeated when you quit!

Remember that success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out and it is not about what you accomplish in your life or what relationship you are in, it is about what you inspire others to do. To be inspired is great, to inspire is incredibleI can assure you that there is no better feeling! :)

I urge you to keep in mind the following metaphor: Start thinking like a camera, focus on what’s important and capture the good times. Remember to develop yourself from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot. Always chase your dreams instead of running from your fears.

Life is like a camera 2

It is never too late to be whoever you want to be and have meaningful relationships. I hope with all my heart that you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, I hope you have the courage and the strength to start again as it will be worth it! :)

‘It is impossible,’ says Pride. ‘It is risky,’ says Experience. ‘It is pointless,’ says Reason. ‘GO FOR IT,’ whispers the Heart.

Which one are you going to listen to?

To your successful relationship! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

What’s your story? Are you a buyer or a seller?

Hello readers :)

Have you ever felt regret and found excuses for experiences, actions and adventures that you could have made happen and yet you didn’t?

 

What story would you tell your friends, family, children and grandchildren?

 

What story would you write in your autobiography?

1st page of a book

All of us tell stories about ourselves because stories define us and help us connect with each other. Wouldn’t you agree that to know someone well is to know their story? To know the experiences that have shaped them, the lessons that life has taught them and the trials and turning points that have tested them.

life lesson 2

life lesson 1

mindset

When we want someone to know us, we share stories of our childhoods, our families, our school years, our work experiences, our friends, our passions and so on.

Fast forward to December 31st 2013 and think for a moment about the story you are going to tell yourself and repeat numerous times to others.

Will it be a story of…?

MASSIVE SUCCESS and how you made this the best year of your life.

best version of you

REDEMPTION and how you turned your year around.

dont look back

REGRET and how you let so many opportunities slip by.

lost opp

EXCUSES and how tough the economy has been.

excuses

You must accept the reality that by the end of this year, your story will have already been written.

The narrative of your story will be a direct result of your inner dialog and corresponding performance.

performance

The FACTS are simply this: when it comes to the fundamentals of your story, you are either a BUYER or a SELLER.

buyer and seller

If your story is one of REDEMPTION and MASSIVE SUCCESS, then you are a SELLER.

top seller 1

You have sold yourself on the importance of discipline, commitment, and fortitude, and have stayed focused on driving your results in spite of the world of distractions and temptations that circle modern life.

If your story is one of REGRET, EXCUSES and UNDER-PERFORMANCE then you are a BUYER.

buyer

You have bought the same excuses that have led so many others down the pathway of mediocrity and disappointment.

You have bought into procrastination, lack of discipline, the nonsense masqueraded on TV and in newspapers about how bad things are and whatever else is your poison of choice.

To finish the year strong you must become a seller. You must sell yourself on the power of your goals, on your reasons why, and your vision for what is possible.

To be clear: You must begin working on a bigger, better and bolder story! :)

What’s the reason?

Because the CLOCK IS TICKING...less than 100 days remain until the end of this year.

time is ticking

You see, regardless of the nature of their actions, EVERYONE delivers results. :)

If you are currently below target, and your year-to-date performance is not where you know it should be, then you must acknowledge that your existing strategies are not working, and take immediate corrective action to close your performance gaps during these final days. Take courage as I am also experiencing the same, in fact this post is a reflection of how to ensure that I complete my projects on time!

It’s time to shine a flashlight on your soul, acknowledge that your current strategies are NOT working, and wake up to the fact that if you continue along this line of behaviour, the remainder of this year and your future is in serious jeopardy.

The hard fact is that if you are currently under-performing there’s ONLY one reason:

IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT!

Your year-to-date results aren’t dependent upon your background, your company, your spouse, the economy, the latest bestseller on the self-help charts and so on.

Your results ARE dependent upon, one thing…YOU and your ability to deliver, and right now you have NOT delivered the goods.

I would love to share with you these 7 insights:

1. Your results are a REFLECTION of your self-esteem and demonstrate what you believe to be true about yourself and what you are capable of.

2. Your results will NEVER be greater than the vision and beliefs you hold in your mind. Therefore small thoughts and limited beliefs will ONLY deliver small, unimpressive results.

3. Your results SHOWCASE to the world the depth of your commitment, initiative, creativity and passion.

4. Your results SCREAM volumes as to your ability to solve problems or perpetuate pain.

5. Your results TELL the world how you talk about yourself even when no one’s around.

6. Your results INFORM everyone who’s watching what you do or do NOT do every single day.

7. Your results are the NATURAL consequence of your behaviour and BEHAVIOUR NEVER LIES.

The good news is that there is still time to reach your goals, to redeem yourself and most importantly, to finish the year strong. :)

goal

Your ability to finish the year strong is ultimately about character. It’s about turning a flashlight on your soul and examining yourself to find your will, courage and commitment. :)

 character

The final chapter of your 2013 story is waiting to be written…

Is it going to be seen as the sad consequence of neglect, poor character, lack of direction and ambition, or will it be an inspiring example of talent put to good use in the intense pursuit of clearly defined year-end goals?

The 100 Day Challenge countdown of the year has already begun. Each day is important and I trust you will do everything in your power to make sure that every action you take will count towards achieving your goals. You know that every effort is worth it! :)

goal 1

To your successful story! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Confidence through Confluence!

Hello to all my readers :),

Have you ever wanted to speak up about something important but bitten your tongue and kept quiet instead?

Have you ever experienced being shy and feeling uncomfortable in the midst of other people, for example at the gym?

Have you ever been afraid to ask for that raise you very much deserve and have worked hard for?

I am sure you will agree that everybody could do with a bit more of it in one or more aspects of their lives, whether it’s at school, at work, in a relationship or meeting new people. Have you guessed what it is yet?

Yes, I’m talking about CONFIDENCE:)

I have already written about this subject in my previous posts, so feel free to have a read under other perspectives: Becoming Unstoppable! & Becoming Unstoppable Part 2!

confidence 4

I hold the subject of confidence particularly close to my heart as it is something I have always struggled with and therefore I’m constantly working on it. People that may personally know me will find this statement very awkward as I come across as a very confident person. The reality is that I have learnt to manage my feelings very well using techniques which help me with this very aspect. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I had to have my first ‘professional’ meeting with my dear Bro; he is someone who I know very well, a family member, isn’t he?  Oh boy, believe me, I was so uncomfortable and nervous that I had butterflies in my stomach, my heart was beating like crazy, I could not concentrate on anything he was telling me, I kept asking him to repeat himself and it was so embarrassing! I was so uneasy that I wanted to be anywhere else but there talking to him! Crazy, isn’t? The only positive factor was that I managed my state very well and he didn’t notice my discomfort! You see, even when you have to speak to people who you know and get on with very well, it can still feel painful when broaching a difficult discussion and could sometimes even end a fond relationship like in my aforementioned situation. But, you won’t do yourself justice if you don’t speak up and as a result, you and the other person won’t reach a satisfactory resolution and move on. In my case, I did not reach the outcome I wanted, but testing my confidence with my dear Bro in a new environment has been worth the challenge. He tested my mindset by stretching my comfort zone and as a result, it has really allowed the writing of this post to flourish. :-)  ‘The past is always a teacher of the present…Let go of the guilt and rub off the lesson.’ – James Van Praagh

At this point we might ask: What does it mean to be confident?

To start with, we need to understand what we mean by confidence as it will allow us to verify whether we are confident people. The dictionary defines it as “beliefs in oneself and one’s power and abilities”…

Basically, confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable or scared out of our comfort zone.

confidence 2

Ok, it is clear there are many benefits to being confident, how exactly can we become more confident?

As in my experience, it takes courage to express yourself, explain your side of the story and ask questions. In any situation which is painful or challenging you will feel fear. Fear in life is an absolute given, you will not escape it. Accepting fear as a natural part of your life and as a means to growth is the first step, it’s the decision you make after the acceptance that is the decisive factor. :)

Are you going to let your fears overcome you or are you going to overcome them?

fear 1

In deciding to overcome your fears you have already demonstrated courage which will give you the strength to carry through the actions needed. But it is only after this that your confidence will have grown. You cannot pluck confidence out of thin air, you need to go through the process of fear, courage, strength and action before you can obtain confidence. It’s similar to putting savings in your bank account. Every achievement becomes your social proof (saving), enabling you to gain more confidence (increasing your bank account) which in turn will help you handle the next challenge.

Many of the factors that affect confidence are actually beyond our control. However, we can get the mental edge we need to reach our full potential. :)

confidence experience 1

How can we learn to be more confident?

We may be familiar with what confident friends may say to us: ‘Well, just be confident, mate!’ However, to a person that doesn’t feel that confident, this piece of advice may not be very helpful at all. You know what I am talking about, don’t you?

I have recently been to an event and one subject that kept coming up was that successful people have a boatload of confidence which has been built through the layering of knowledge, experience, competence, expertise, achievement and success. At this point, I remembered what my financial market trader coach, Jit, kept telling me: ‘Confidence through Confluence!’. What did he mean? By layering all the confluent factors in our favour, they provide us with an edge in the financial market. This is exactly what successful people do in all realms of business including trading. :)

The reality is that confidence is just a step below success. The process is simple: when we are confident, we are deciding analytically and not emotionally, therefore we get our desired results. This concept applies even more in the trading world as my fellow traders very well know. To become confident, at first, traders have to focus on the process and not on the prize or capital involved otherwise their emotions will interfere with their objectivity and produce inconsistent unsatisfactory results as well as guaranteed frustration.

Confidence through a confluence of factors, is essential to grow your belief system to provide you with social proof that the task aimed at is achievable. The first example I can think of is related to my passion for trading the financial market and specifically the selection process in choosing a trade. Check out this post Your trading edge to get more insight into this subject.  I have always used a checklist from the very first day I learnt trading and I quickly discovered the power of it. It helped me to make logical decisions, I simply had to ask myself does this trade meet my requirements or not! What factors were listed in my checklist? Well, honestly, I blindly believed my trader coach as he had more experience than me! He listed the factors I needed to look for that enabled me to make confident decisions when the trade met the listed criteria. Most of my confluent factors are cyclicity, price action, horizontal and Fibonacci levels and all these strengthened my confidence…so, you can see the power of confluence. Combine this with discipline and you can almost guarantee your success.  Be disciplined with your discipline! is one of my dear Bro’s posts based on his personal experience. Why do you not check it out and get inspired? :-)

This principle applies in all aspects of life, for example in business, our confidence grows through our business experience, knowledgeable employees, other experts, intuitive and capable coaches and mentors, talented managers and trusted suppliers to name but a few. You see where I’m going with this…Although the difference between everyday life and trading the financial markets is that in everyday life you can fake confidence as in my aforementioned experience but in trading you can’t because the results will speak for themselves. 

The real question is: What are our confluent factors to increase our confidence?

This is a very personal question. Everyone will have different factors that enable their confidence to grow. However, a commonality is that leveraging or utilising confluent factors suggested by more experienced people, such as coaches and mentors will greatly assist you to become more confident and accelerate your journey to success.  :)

confidence 3

To summarise, acquiring confidence is made up of two steps:

Step 1 : The process.

This consists of overcoming fear through courage to gain the strength to carry through an action to achieve a goal. It’s the achievement which builds your confidence.

Step 2: The layering of your confluent factors.

Once you repeat step 1 often enough, a process of compounding your acquired knowledge, experience, competence, expertise, achievement and success, your confidence becomes an intrinsic aspect of your personality. So Confidence through Confluence! Compounding everything! is a post that I warmly invite you to read in order to expand my dear Bro’s insight on the compounding subject (his 8th wonder of the world). :)  

confidence muscle

Even if we’re reasonably assured most of the time, it is beneficial to do a self analysis check up to review and compare our previous achievements to score our confidence levels. It feels good to be confident, which in turn perpetuates further confidence, impresses people and brings you success.  Is this not what everyone wants? :)

Confidence-Level

So, what level is our confidence?

Remember: when you feel confident, you not only feel happier but also more capable and efficient

The quote below is really a reminder to myself as my confidence level will be again tested today with my dear Bro!  :)

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.‘ – Eleanor Roosevelt

To our growth of Confidence through Confluence!

Viv :) xx

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Is your Social Proof reliable?

A warm greeting to all my readers :),

Have you ever experienced feeling uncertain and in need to take cues from others to make decisions?

 

Have you ever felt refraining from or doing something just because you are following what other people are doing?

 

How can we be ourselves, steer our own ships and be individuals despite having a reliable Social Proof?

 

I personally asked myself these questions and the answers were quite revealing. In this article will cover my truth no. 9 ‘Have Reliable Social Proof!’ I listed this in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

You see many agree that it’s a well-accepted fact now that we are all ‘social beings’ with a basic need to be connected to others. What is not so well known is that we are such social creatures that we are highly susceptible to being influenced by ‘the herd’ and unless we are a strong natural leader, we tend look to others for behavioural cues. If no-one else is doing anything, the thinking goes that there is a good reason for not getting involved. This effect is particularly significant when we are uncertain what to do, for example when we find ourselves in unfamiliar situations.

social proof 3

It’s common that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct…We are social and tribal beings, and what others think about us remarkably important. In our need for a sense of identity we seek to belong and so easily conform with what others are doing. We view a behaviour as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it. As with the other “weapons of influence,” social proof is a shortcut that usually works well for us: if we conform to the behaviour we see around us, we are less likely to make a social faux pas. Also auditory cues are powerful stimuli because they influence us at a level of consciousness that is difficult to critique. The reverse effect happens too. When others are doing something that we know is wrong, we are more likely to assume that it is ok to do it too. This explains something of how peaceful crowds can turn into unlawful mobs. It also explains how young people turn to drugs and crime when they see their peers acting this way.

social-proof1

So with this sort of pressure, how can we be ourselves, steer our own ships and be individuals?

Before we dismiss social proof out of hand we need to be fair. Much popular behaviour is valuable and the fact that many people do it may be a good sign that we should follow suit. Regular dental checkups, exercising, taking financial advice and so on, are activities engaged in by millions and with good reason. :)

It’s only when we blindly follow the masses that our individual integrity is threatened – especially when our mind chatter says ‘is this really right?’ before being drowned out by the roar of the crowd. But if we go against the herd at any opportunity then our behaviour is no less mechanical than the social-proof induced actions of a Nazi or fashion victim.

We need to be influenced by those around us for society to function but we also need to understand that more people doing something doesn’t necessarily make it right.

social-proof 2

How do we know if our Social Proof is reliable then?

Saying all the above, we realise that we are social being, of course some more than others as it will depend from our internal or external point of reference. Despise this, we are easily influenced by other people behaviours and at the same time as human being we will need to have the Social Proof that tasks and desired goals have already been accomplished from others to provide us with the certainty that our goal can be achieved. To highlight this point, my dear Bro has written an article on his personal experience to demonstrate what a reliable Social Proof can inspire other to do! As always, I invite you to read his inspirational blog! Here his link: Social Proof…

Take, for example, marathon runners and the time they employ to run one! They provide us with a reliable Social Proof that it is possible for us too!

matathon runners
Since psychological research shows we tend to be influenced by those who are similar to us, we can assume that having a reliable Social Proof will allow us to produce similar results to theirs. Therefore, we will have a reliable Social Proof if the proofs shown are provided by people who are like us, have achieved similar goals and standards to ours and they have a proved record to back up their achievements allowing them to be considered as authority in their field and be worth to look up as role model to follow.

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Is then your Social Proof reliable?

Only you know the honest answer! :)

Remember: The principle of social proof suggests that we tend to look to others to decide what to do, especially when we are uncertain about the correct behaviour. Seeing others doing something has a powerful influence on us, especially if we perceive those others to be a lot like us. :) ‘Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd’ – Annie Besant

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After reading this article, it will be worth to take some time aside for some revision time!

You might consider to evaluate the reliability of your Social Proof, what impact has in your life and most of all, what results are you achieving because of its influence on you! :)

Does your Social Proof make you going forward and nearer to achieve your goals?

Remember: ‘Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit!‘ and ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’ – Martin Luther King Jr

Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results. ‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.‘ – Robert Collier

Remember: Having a reliable Social Proof is part of the journey to Success. :)

One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.’ – Benjamin Disraeli

To your reliable Social Proof!

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!

A very warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope this article finds you well! :-)

 

Have you ever felt that you have been caught up in making your life and business more complicated than they actually need to be?

 

Why does this happen to so many of us?

 

How can you simplify your life and business and live them to the fullest?

In this article, I will discuss how beneficial it is for having a simplistic approach to life and business, which will simultaneously cover my truth no. 5 ‘Be Self-Aware, Honest, Prepared and Keep it Simple! ‘ that I listed in my previous article 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level:-)

Let’s crack on then …

1. BE SELF-AWARE! 

What does self-awareness actually mean?

The dictionary defines self-awareness as ‘the capacity for introspection and the ability to reconcile oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.’ So, in a nutshell, it’s the ability to perceive aspects of our personality, behaviour, emotions, motivations, and thought process. It also allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment as having a clear understanding of your thought and, behaviour patterns helps you understand other people. This ability to empathise facilitates better personal and professional relationships.

What are the reasons to develop Self-Awareness?

Simply, self-awareness is the first step to change as it allows you to see where your thoughts and emotions are taking you. Where you focus your attention, your emotions, reactions, personality and behaviour determine where you go in life. This is why, self-awareness is so important! :-)

How can we develop it?

Firstly, self-awareness is developed through practices in focusing your attention on the details of your personality and behaviour. I personally focus on raising mine by using a very famous psychometric assessment. You can see it below:

Below I have included a list of explanations that go along with the diagram, taken from the ‘Career Service’ at the University of Sheffield.

Strengths, skills and preferences

Self-awareness leads to an understanding of your strengths, core skills and preferences. These cover a wide range of capabilities (what you know, what you can do and what you have the potential to do) and preferences and motivations (what interests and motivates you, how you do things and how you relate to others).

Capabilities and applications

When you know what your strengths and preferences are, you need to think about how you can apply these in different situations. This is particularly important when applying for jobs – it helps you make career choices, gives you something concrete to say about yourself in applications / interviews, and to find a job that is right for you.

Areas for development and weaknesses

As well as showing us our strengths, self-awareness can identify areas we may want to develop. These areas may be related to academic abilities, skills such as planning and time management, or personal characteristics such as how we work as part of a team or deal with difficult situations.

Development activities, new strategies

When you know what you want to develop, there are usually many ways of going about this. Generally no one approach is best – the approach depends on what you want to develop. What is important however is that you plan your development carefully, set yourself small, manageable targets and check your progress against them regularly.

As you can see, when we develop self-awareness you are able to make changes in our thoughts and interpretations we make in our mind. Changing the interpretations in our mind allows us to change our emotions. Self-awareness is one of the attributes of Emotional Intelligence and an important factor in achieving success.

2. BE HONEST!

What is honesty?

The dictionary defines honesty as ‘telling the truth, straightforward conduct, being sincere, trustworthy, honourable, fair, genuine and loyal with integrity.’ Based on this definition we can simply say that honesty is the best policy to adopt in every aspect of our life. ‘There is no wisdom like frankness.’ – Disraeli

How can honesty play a vital part to take ourselves to the next level?

You see, if we are not honest with others and above all with ourselves, we can’t make changes and we can’t be trusted. I’m sure you too have experienced the meaning of this quote: ‘One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.’ – Ashanti proverb. Honesty allows you to accept the responsibility of your own actions without blaming others. ‘Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.’ – Jefferson

Every relationship and bond are built on trust and trust is built on honesty. They are highly correlated and go hand in hand. If this is the case, it’s the one indispensable quality that affects every single one of our relationships. It’s the glue that holds together each of our associations. Our ability to demonstrate trust impacts every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every efforts in which we are engaged, etc.

Trust is common bond between all people. It is one thing that if it’s removed, it will destroy the most powerful government, the greatest friendship, the most influential leadership, the strongest character and the deepest love.

On the other hand, if trust has developed and leveraged, it is one thing that has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every single dimension of our life. It isn’t only vital to our personal and interpersonal well-being; it’s a key competitive weapon that annihilates the competition simply because most people have deficiency when it comes to demonstrating trust. Simply put, honesty and trust mean confidence and the opposite of it is suspicion. We have all experiences some relationship that validate this point. We know that the difference is not small but it’s actually dramatic. The costs and benefits of trust can be financially and psychologically rewarding or devastating.

What about honesty and trust on a personal level?

There is ever a more fundamental and powerful dimension of honesty and self-trust, often we make a commitment to ourselves such as setting goals and making new year’s resolutions that we fail to fulfill.  As a result we come to feel that we can’t even trust and be honest with ourselves. If this is the case, we’ll have a hard time trusting others. These personal incongruence is often the source of our suspicions of others.

The funny part of about life is that we have strong tendency to judge ourselves by our intentions and others based by their behaviours. Truly, we are in a crisis of trust, it effects us to all levels, societal, institutional, personal, organisational and relational; it has continuous effects. We become increasingly suspicious of our people and then we begin to project the behaviour of the few upon the many and we all pay for it dearly. Our ability to demonstrate honesty, trust and transparency is the smartest move we’ll make in our life!  :-)

Honesty changes the quality of every present moment and it alters the trajectory and outcome of every future moment of our lives.  It defines our character to others and without it true success is impossible, because once trust is broken, our word will be corrupted, our reputation contaminated and our future is going to be in question.

Take a pause for reflection and think about the question below:

What is the point of raising our self-awareness if we are not willing to be honest with ourselves in order to accept what we discover as true and do something to improve it?

I will leave with your reflection and please please be completely honest when you answer it.

Remember to be honest with yourself and others because when you are honest, you build strength of character that will allow you to be of great service to others. You will experience peace of mind and above all self-respect.

3. BE PREPARED!

The dictionary defines preparation as ‘the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty; the state of having been made ready beforehand; readiness and a preliminary measure that serves to make ready for something.’

Plan your way to success!

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ – Benjamin Franklin. Proper planning prevents poor performance! A well define daily, weekly, monthly plan that is properly executed is our silver bullet to success. You can significantlyincrease the odds to your success,if you know who you are, what you want, where you are going and what you will do when you arrive.

We all know that life will not go according to plan of you don’t have a plan. You may lose at a given time if you were not tall enough, fast enough or young enough butyou must never allow yourself to lose because you were not fully prepared. Unfortunately it’s a reality that most people put themselves in.

To planning without action is unproductive and to action without planning can be counterproductive. Planning without action is like having a multi personality disorder, you walk, you talk and you long about having, being and doing something and you do absolutely nothing about it. The opposite is also true, as the habit of action without planning carries a high degree of risk and decreased success.

Planning is an art that required practise and preparation in order to do well. Effective planning ensures a greater sense of security in yourself and in any action necessary for success. Yet far too many people are unprepared, undisciplined and unfocused. This is because they disrespect planning, lack of preparation, discipline and focus, they will repeat yesterday’s mediocre performance, tomorrow and the next day.

When you choose to create history rather than repeat it, when you choose to have the best year of your life, when you choose to create a plan that allows you to experience exceptional growth, when you get serious about your life and career, when you do everything you can to tilt the odds in your favour, all these become possible through the discipline of planning as the accommodation of success is perceived by long negotiation made possible by intensive preparation. Effective planning allows you to do things better, faster and definitely cheaper.

We should perfect the use of planning , as we will win many battles by default.

I want you to pull out a piece of paper and create a plan for the day that answer the four most important questions:

 

1. What are you attempting to accomplish?

 

2. Why is it critical for this goal to be achieved?

 

3. How will the actions take place?

 

4. When will this result become reality?

 

Here is an important point that I want to highlight, we must also value spontaneity, as not everything can be planned for in life. Success involves establishing a delicate balance between planning and improvisation.What should never be left to chance is the ability to execute any plan. With this reality in mind, it’s imperative to make planning count! As planning is the greatest equaliser that we will ever have, we should use it to our fullest! :-)

When is the best time to prepare ourselves? 

An inspirational friend of mine beautifully articulated this very subject in his blog from his personal experience. Read his blog if you want to get inspired and get some very invaluable tips, check out his post, here is his link:  What successful people do in the first hour of their work day.  

4. BE SIMPLE!

Simplicity is the main key to your success! If you can have a simple approach to whatever you are aiming for, you are a step ahead of many 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 to keep things simple and to have a simple plan.

In fact, a subject that I often touch upon when coaching people is simplicity. Life in itself can become very complex. This is why I am often amazed how people love to complicate things even if what they are doing is in itself simple.

This made me ask a question:

What is the reason why we make it more complicated than it needs to be?

Well, after pondering and reflecting for a while, an answer I came up with was that it’s because simplifying life is just not that simple! It can sometimes be overwhelming and challenging! Would you agree?

For example, someone sent me the following straightforward message on this very subject:

‘Why complicate life?

 

Missing somebody? … Call

Wanna meet up? … Invite

Wanna be understood? .. .Explain

Have questions? … Ask

Don’t like something? … Say it

Like something? … State it

Want something? … Ask for it

Love someone? … Tell it

 

Nobody will know what’s going on in your mind…

It’s better to express rather than to Expect…

You already have the NO, Take the risk of getting the YES

We just have one life,

Keep it SIMPLE!’ :-)

When I finished reading it I thought that this was all so obvious and simple to implement. Then its meaning hit me…

If it is so simple, then why are so many people complicating their lives?

What are the reasons why you are complicating your life?

I invite you to take a pause for reflection to discover your reasons as they might be the turning point in your life…

What are the reasons behind having a simplistic approach?

You will agree with me that we are continually rushing and striving for more at all times. The simple truth is that we frequently make it harder than it needs to be and many things that cause our hurt and pain are created by…US! The main reason why a simplistic approach is effective is because it gives clarity on where you are and where you want to go. Subsequently, this yields swifter results.

To achieve lasting and rewarding success, it is better to keep things simple – to master a few things to a very high level, rather than seeking to be a jack-of-all-trades. I invite you to get inspired by reading one of my dear bro’s blogs. He beautifully illustrates this in one of his stirring posts entitled Simples: ‘When you learn something so well all that can happen is that you become better and better at it. Why did David Beckham become the best free kick taker in the world of football?

You see, the result of this repeat-until-you-master approach is that you will become better and better at whatever it is you choose to focus on. It does not mean that you are a simple person and that you do not have to learn anything new in your life: It means to ensure everything you learn goes towards enhancing and simplifying your current plan and your skills. Living with this approach has allowed me to get optimum results from the minimum time and resources.

Always remember, when you keep things simple, life and business become simple too.

 

 Are you now ready to take up this week’s challenge?

Make it as your check-up moment of how much we know ourselves (strengths and weaknesses), how much we are honest with ourselves (I know it’s painful at times ‘a harmful truth is better than a useful lie.’ – Thomas Mann; but it’s needed to get results and to move forward – ‘no pain no gain’ applies not only in fitness but in our emotional state too) and how much we prepare and we are prepared to succeed! ‘You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.‘ – Zig Ziglar. Wrap it all up by being simple,:-) as it is the key to success because ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’ – Leornardo Da Vinci

 

To your self-awareness, simple, honest and prepared Success! :-)

 

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com


No Pain No Gain…It’s the name of the game!

A warm greeting to all my readers, :-)

Today’s article will cover a subject very important for making things happen! Well, the title could mislead you but in a nutshell, it’s essential to go through some pain to get results and I’m sure that you are familiar with the saying ‘No pain no gain’ especially in the fitness world…My fitness coaches keep reminding me that if I don’t feel pain and exhaustion at the end of our sessions, I have not worked hard enough and given my 110%. Honestly, I have to agree with this so I welcome pain as crazy as it might sound! ‘I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count! No Pain No Gain!’ – Muhammad Ali. As I have experienced, when I don’t commit myself and take things seriously, I usually don’t produce any tangible and satisfying results! What about you?

If you remember in my article 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level, my truth no.4 is: Get serious about your goals and have fun! This was actually the first lesson learnt during my 100 days challenge and I would love to share it with you as its concepts are very powerful! :-)

The crude reality of life is that we will make progress only after we commit ourselves and get serious on getting results. If not, setbacks and obstacles will slow us down and cause a lot of frustration! In fact, it’s not a secret that serious professionals play to win, have fun and always finish successfully. ‘Make sure that people are having fun. Fun is not about acting stupid. It’s the feeling you get when you’re on top of things.’ – Richard Brandson

I believe that we all heard the expression of ‘commitment’ and usually we do associate a pain connotation to it, right? Ask yourself: Have you ever taken the time to think of the impact and importance of this word in your life? In this article, we are going to talk about the key decisions you have to make in order to get your life, your career and your business on the fast-track of exponential growth.

You see, one thing about successful people, it’s that at some point in their life each one has looked themselves in the mirror and decided ‘enough was enough’ and they were done playing games, they were done for settling for table scraps, they were done for standing on the sidelines… while other people that they don’t perceived neither to be as bright or as challenging, lived in a better home and enjoy a better quality of life and lifestyle. It was in that moment that they decided to get serious and committed to be the best and the most successful person they could be. They made the conscious decision  of accepting the ‘No Pain No Gain’ principle as the name of their game to raise their bar to the next level! ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion!‘ – Muhammad Ali.

All the great ones had this conversation. What about you? Have you honestly made the decision to get serious about your life, to stop blaming others and to finally becoming the best person you can be? This is a straight forward ‘yes or no’ answer! One that is clearly demonstrated by your actions simply because behaviours never lie!  Simply put, your behaviours tell the world if you are committed or if you are just messing around. So what’s the answer?  Too many people take a casual approach to life. They have the audacity to complain and make excuses when things don’t go their way. This is some kind of sickening and demanding joke as these people are delusional and they really thing that they can get ahead with life without getting serious and committed of how they can use their precious and limited time. Obviously, you can disagree with the following statements but eventually you will come to the understanding of that you have not choices of accepting it as reality.

You will become in great physical shape only after you get serious to get fit and not one second sooner. Until you decide the decision to become physical in shape, you will continue suffer the consequences of remaining in the situation you are in. I am speaking from personal experience here! ‘Getting in shape is simple,  not easy.  Take time to learn the route to your goals and prepare your mind for the challenges you will overcome!’ – Rolsey

You will become successful in your life only when you seriously decide to be one and not one second sooner. Until you decide to become successful by developing a plan and executing it consistently, you will forever remain in the situation that you are currently in.

You will make advancements in your career or in your business only if you decide to make excellence in your operating standards. Until you choose excellence and commit to raise your standards, your performance will be inconsistent and your opportunities will be limited.

You will enjoy a great and happy family life only after you decide to commit yourself to them and not a second sooner. Until you choose to build a loving, nurturing, safe and supporting family relationship, your relationship will continue to remain as it currently is.

You will leave a significant and lasting legacy only after you consciously decide and commit about the contributions you want to make during your lifetime.

In a nutshell, until you choose to do something important with your life and until you embrace a cause that you passionately believe in, you will continue to waste your time and your talents. As mentioned before, behaviours never lie.

At this point, you might ask yourself:

How do you know when you are really committed to getting results?

How are they demonstrated in your daily behaviour?

These are simple questions to answer as you demonstrate you are committed when you do the following:

1. When you set realistic but challenging deadlines and honour them.

2. When you look for solutions rather than focusing on problems and who’s to blame.

3. When you take initiative and proactive behaviour without being told what to do.

4. When you focus on adding ever greater value.

5. When you go the extra mile as a habit not as a selective exercise or show case on special occasions.

6. When your ability to execute matches your capacity to imagine a new future.

7. When you consistently meet or exceed the quota.

8. When you are on-time and fully prepared for meetings, you demonstrate your commitment and professionalism.

9. When you arrive to work early and stay later.

10. When you accept reality as it is, not as it was or how you would like it to be.

11. When you make far more deposits than withdrawals into your relationships.

So let’s face it.

The reality is that each one of the actions listed above will require a certain amount of sacrifices and pain in order to accomplish them! This reminds me of one of my dear bro favourite blogs entitled ‘Are you prepared to sacrifice?‘. I warmly invite you to read his inspiring blog as it could impact your life too as it did with mine! In fact, after I read it, I had the conversation previously mentioned that ‘enough was enough’ and it was NOW time to get serious, make sacrifice, suffer the pain associated to it and produce the desirable results. You see, until you accept the wisdom and responsibilities of the word ‘commitment’, you are going to waste a lot of time and energy. Life is ever so short and precious and the sooner we get serious and committed about our life and business, the better off and the happier we will be.

Be serious in setting and achieving a number of goals. Your commitment about generating big, bold results is critical to every success you experience in your life and in your business and when you do achieve them, you have already forgotten all the setbacks, obstacles, sacrifices, efforts and the pain associated to it, right? ‘If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.’ – Anne Bradstreet

Remember that every day is an opportunity for improvement and each step moves us a step closer or farther from our goal! So commit yourself and get serious to achieve your goals, welcome the pain associated to it and as an outcome, you will reap the results of success! :-)

Let’s be truly honest that ‘No Pain No Gain’ is really the name of our game as we have only two choices when it comes to producing results and being successful. We suffer the pain of discipline and we get results and success or we suffer the pain of regret and we get disappointment and frustration!

Which one have you chosen until now?

Which one will you choose from now on?

I’ll leave you with two of my all time favourite quotes that keep me motivated:

‘It ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!’ –Rocky Balboa

‘When you want to SUCCEED as bad as you want to BREATHE, then you will be SUCCESSFUL’ – Eric Thomas

Only when you get serious and you are committed to something, you accept NO EXCUSES, only RESULTS!

To getting serious on producing results and success! :-)

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

An investment in your knowledge always pays your best interest…

A big hello to all of you,

Hope my article finds you well! :-)

Today’s article is based on my truth no. 3, to ‘Invest in yourself and your education’ as stated in my previous article: 10 essential truths to take yourself to the next level.

Before I begin I would like to send appreciation for all of your messages you have given me in my last few articles. The feedback and comments have all been very valuable to me! :-)

‘An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest’ – Benjamin Franklin, this is one of my favourite quotes. Mainly because it is one that has guided me throughout my life. You can also see it makes a good title for an article too! :-)

Saying, reading or visualising this quote is one thing but living it is another. Was investing in my knowledge easy? Definitely Not! Was it worth it? Definitely Yes!

Some of you might think: Investment, that’s out of my league? I’m struggling to get to the end of the month, especially with prices on petrol, food and clothes etc. going up every day! Unfortunately for some of us, this is a reality which frustrates and impacts our lives with great weight, right?

Think for just a minute: How did you get where you are now?

Just to clarify that I’m not an economist or a financial advisor… yet J (although I have worked in financial services for nearly 10 years)…Instead I’m speaking from my knowledge and experience on personal finances. Having grown up in my dad’s business as a child I’ve lived and breathed these matters on a daily basis, allowing me to now live in a good financial position. :-)

Below are listed some common reasons to justify our bad finances. Which one do you resonate with the most?

* Overspending

* Impulse spending

* Overuse of credit or debit cards

* Spending without tracking

* Buying unnecessary items

* Not paying bills on time

* Lack of experience

* Negative circle of influence

* Debt from family

* Bad Investments

* Failed businesses

What are the commonalities of all these reasons?

The first six reasons are likely to be based on our lack of discipline and indulgency, I hope you agree with me but the latter two are most probably because of lack of knowledge, experience, resources, etc. right?

If this is the truth then it seems like a catch 22. If you don’t have the finances, you can’t get your knowledge, resources, etc. Is this a common thinking process? Unfortunately, it is, but it’s also a reality for some of us…

If this is the case for many of us, what are the reasons why we are talking about investment and especially investing in ourselves?

The real reason is this:

Are you planning to live the rest of your life struggling to get to the end of the month or to become a financially independent and successful person?

You have only two options. Even if you don’t make a decision, that in itself is one too! This is because you are essentially not choosing to either figure out how to get to the end of the month or become financially independent.

If we are talking about your best assets, we are talking about YOU! Think about marketing…Who do people buy? Your product, your services or YOU! What about business? What do your clients buy? Your company, your brand, your marketing or YOU!

If everything is about us, what are the reasons to improve our brand, our company image, our products, our services, etc? Does it not pay us off a better interest to invest in ourselves and in our knowledge?

Saying that, I’m not vouching that you are magically going to be a guru in all aspects of your life, far from it! You might have heard of the expression of ‘being a master of one instead of a jack of all trades!’ You just need to specialise in one aspect, gain as much knowledge as you can on a specific subject that you are passionate about and leverage your knowledge and experience to build your visibility and credibility in the market place…YOU are the one that is going to make a difference in your life and business, no one else… and if this is true, is it not logical to invest in yourself to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to step up to your next level? My common sense replies with a resounding ‘YES’! What about yours? … It was Aristotle who said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do … Excellence is therefore not an act but a habit.’ If we want to improve ourselves, we need to invest firstly in us and in our education to avoid pitfalls and recognise opportunities. We also need to have clarity and direction in our life and business to avoid being distracted by the limitless information now available.

You see, this morning I was reading a post from a very talented guy related to this very topic: finance and more specifically on trading the world financial markets. I actually invite you to read his blog as he has beautifully put things into perspective and mention one of the most important concepts and variables in the finance and investment world: Risk vs Reward. Visit his blog to read the full article: Trader Focus.

After I finished reading the blog, I recognised that it reinforced the concept highlighted in last week’s article about the main commonalities in all aspects of life. Below I have summarised it’s meaning in 4 stages, from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence.

 

Stage 1: Unconscious incompetence

This is where we are not aware of our lack of knowledge in a specific subject such as boxing, coaching, trading and business.  Moreover the existence and benefits of rules, strategies and systems. Only until we become conscious of our incompetency will we start developing any further skill.

Stage 2: Conscious Incompetence

At this stage we become aware of the existence and benefits of rules, strategies, and systems to develop our skills and knowledge further. We also consequently commit to learning them as they will improve our performance and results.

Stage 3: Conscious Competence

We become consciously competent when we can follow the rules, strategies and system reliably at will. We will need to concentrate and think in order to accomplish the task effectively as the skills acquired are still not yet ‘second nature’ or ‘automatic’ to us. Daily practice will be the most effective way to move to the last stage.

Stage 4: Unconscious Competence

At this stage, our tasks and skills are ‘second nature’ to us as we have practiced them so much that it enters the unconscious part of our brain like Warren Buffet. Now, we will be able to teach others in the skill acquired, although after you have achieved this level for some time it might actually be difficult to explain exactly how we do it – we just instinctively do it without thinking!

At this point, results and periodic reviews will play the most important part to maintain this level of competency. We need to ensure our skills are being kept up to standard, and we are not acquiring bad habits, overconfidence or breaking of rules. The best person to check your results and provide you feedback will definitely be your coach and mentor.

What is the benefit of knowing the 4 stages of competency with regards to your learning process?

It definitely will help us during the moment of setbacks as we will know at what stage we are at and anticipate how long it will it take to get to the next stage. I honestly have to say that whilst it could be possible to identify the different stages by ourselves, the best person to do it is actually someone external i.e. a coach/mentor. They have already being there and done it as he/she can give a more objective evaluation of what stage we are in and what actions we need to take to move forward in the most fastest and efficient way possible. To illustrate this point, I still remember asking my trading coach about a year and a half ago, what my stage was. He responded I was at stage 3 and I was disappointed as I thought I was at level 4. I just thought he wanted to give me a hard time but sadly I have to admit in hindsight I knew he was correct. I thank him for being honest in his evaluation, because now I know what it means to be at stage 4. Based on the above learning journey, we should be able to identify what stage we are in the different aspects of our lives. ‘Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.’ – Christian Larson

 

Now ask yourself the following questions:

Which stage are you on in terms of your investment knowledge?

How much is your investment in yourself paying off?

What are the reasons behind postponing your self-investment?  Remember that tomorrow is not always guaranteed!

Take some time to ponder over these questions, then answer them honestly. Finally analyse and evaluate your answers, your future could very well depend on it! :-)

It’s NOW time to take the decision. Self-investment might be difficult, due to the amount of money and hours you need to pour into it, but as I said at the beginning of this article, in the end it will be well worth it!  This is not the time to be laid-back or give up just because this path may lead to difficult challenges.  Believe me, the first step is the hardest to take but it’s so worth it! Take heed from this quote from Churchill: ‘When the tough get tougher, keep going!’ Don’t give up your goals to step up to the next level even before you have started! The moment you give up you let someone else win. This could very well be your next contract, clients, business, promotion, etc. Recently, my dear bro, wrote a very inspiring article on this subject. Please visit and read his blog at: When the going gets tough, keep going. ‘SUCCESS seems to be connected with ACTION. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit!‘ – Conrad Hilton

Remember that the most expensive asset we possess is our experience. This is because it is paid for dearly with our most valuable assets: time and energy. This is simply because without the right amount of knowledge we cannot leverage and capitalise on it. :-)

To gaining greater success from your self-investment! :-)

Have a lovely and amazing week!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Boxing, Trading, Coaching, Business & Life: What are the commonalities of Success?

A very warm greeting to all my readers, :-)

When did you last do something new for the first time?

Have you ever experienced keeping a commitment that you knew would affect you in a negative way?

To celebrate the first year of my blog, I want to thank everyone who has been reading and sharing my articles! Having started it off exactly a year ago for just a few friends and clients and to see it grow to such an extent is wonderful! I would love to share with you a recent experience that shows that I ‘walk my talk’ as it forced me to stretch myself out of my comfort zone and to train my mindset to turn a negative situation into a positive one. ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door!’ – Milton Berle

As mentioned in last week’s blog ‘Raise the bar of your game!’, one of my fitness coaches, Dwayne, asked me to come along to a particular boxing event he was fighting in. Even though, I was surprised by his request, I did not want to let him down and I happily agreed. Rocky also happens to have a special place in my heart, and seeing the real deal for the first time was something I wouldn’t want to miss! I dedicate this article to Dwayne! Well done and keep going! Look forward to your next fights! :-)

Having seen all of the Rocky films I did not think it would be too different to a real fight …. oh how I was wrong! Ironically I had a fitness session with him just before his fight on the following day. In the final moments of the session when he provided me with the venue and the time, something strange happened to me. I really felt overwhelmed. I was going through some emotions and feelings I had never experienced before and I wasn’t sure of the reasons behind them. Well, I promised Dwayne that I would go to support him and as I am a person of honour, I kept my word. That being said, I could not sleep all night at the thought of watching my fitness coach getting beaten up in the ring.

The day arrived and I was feeling so sick I couldn’t drive and ended up taking public transport. After watching the first match, I really couldn’t bare it any longer. I really was feeling sick, my stomach was going all over the place, just seeing guys get beaten up, with blood going everywhere, I could not believe it! Fortunately, the guy next to me started a conversation which distracted me from watching the match. Then suddenly something happen to me! It was like, my mind would not accept what was going on emotionally and something switched – I started to watch the matches to find out how the matches were judged. I suddenly started to recognise patterns and similarities between boxing and trading. My next thought was if there were similarities between the two, then there must be similarities with business and life too. From then on, all my sickness and emotion disappeared and my analytical mind took over.

I started to ask myself these questions:

What is the commonality between boxing, trading, coaching, business and life?

Is there a formula, pattern or process that I can recognise and apply to all of the subjects above?

How can I transmit my discovery in an easy and simple way to others?

Well, the answer was a resounding ‘Yes’ which did not surprise me at all!

Here are the commonalities I have discovered during my experience:

Have a Coach, a Mentor and a Team

Before the beginning of every boxing match, the coaches/mentors were doing their due diligence in checking that the gloves, face covers, teeth protections, shoe laces, etc. were all up to standards, to allow the boxers to fight safely. Is this not something we do in business, trading, coaching and in life? For example, don’t we do our due diligence before commencing a marketing campaign, before we enter any trade, before coaching any clients and before we make decisions in our life? I’m sure you will agree this step is particularly important, as it can reduce the chances of negative consequences, such as investing in non-profitable businesses, employing the wrong people, entering the wrong trade, using the wrong coaching techniques, etc.

After each round the boxers would go back to their corner for feedback on their performance. Surprisingly the advice would nearly always have emphasis on the foundations, such as the basic moves in boxing i.e. how to breath and use combinations: straights, uppercuts, hooks, etc. This applies even more so in trading, in coaching, in business and in life: we need an external person such as a coach/mentor to analyse and provide us with crucial feedback on our performance to move us forward to our next level. Their input is invaluable to our growth and progress and most of the time they will remind us to go back to the basics, as it is usually these key fundamentals that are completely overlooked.

A strong team is also crucial to the success of the athletes. Often you do not see the full extent of their work at sporting events however they train directly with the athletes to prepare them for the competition. They help the athlete to practice to improve their techniques, to simulate the opponent, to provide a positive support network.

At the boxing event I noticed the crowd would be full of each sides teams, jeering their club along. Clearly this is important for motivation and support in the moment of setbacks, as it incites us to ‘keep going when the tough gets tougher!‘ – W. Churchill.

Training and Planning

As a rule of thumb, in trading, coaching, business and life, we need a lot of training in order to transfer our ‘classroom or course’ knowledge into the ring, live trading and in business. You will agree with me that training is different from the implementation. We need to put everything learnt together to make it work! For example, I was thinking that there is an insane amount of training needed in boxing, just to stand in the ring for 6 minutes (3 rounds for 2 minutes each)! As a result, simply training will not cut it. To ensure that time, resources and efforts can be used to the greatest effect, planning is also vital! ‘He who fails to plan is planning to fail‘ – Winston Churchill

How can you work smarter and not harder in business, trading, coaching and life?

Where do you want your business, your trading and your life to be in the next three or five years?

Keep the momentum going

This is connected to the coach/mentor and team concept. When the boxer went back after each round, he got some techniques and feedback from his coach/mentor to implement in the next round. What I noticed was that immediately after it, the boxers implemented the suggestions given from their coaches but after 15/20 seconds they went back to their previous techniques and habits. Is this not the same in trading, business and life? We get tips, suggestions, tools, new ideas, techniques from our coaches/mentors and teams and we are excited and enthusiastic at the beginning. We keep the momentum going for a little while, until we go back to our usual practices and habits. The consequence of which is of course poor results, we end up blaming others for it! It’s sad but it’s a cruel reality and this is the main reason why people don’t accomplish their goals as they get stuck in a catch 22 especially if they want to do everything by themselves!

Employ the right strategy, technique and tools to succeed

I have noticed that boxers that were taller and look stronger seemed more confident on winning at first but this was not always the case. In fact during the boxing event, most of the time the opposite occurred. In life this has always been the case for me too. I think this is probably because the shorter and less strong among us have to learn to adapt to keep up with the rest of the crowd. They grow up being more self-aware of their abilities, which allows them to maximise their strengths and talents more effectively.

In the case of boxing it appears that victory is awarded to the fighter who employs the best strategic approach, capitalises on the competitions weaknesses, trains harder and plans in advance. Often, being taller and stronger will make you feel overconfident and therefore may play a negative effect on preparation, training and assertiveness.

What gives us a better edge in trading, coaching, business and life? Clearly it is the same as in boxing. Having the best strategy, technique and tools to complete our objective will allow us to capitalise on our strengths more effectively than our competition.

Social proof and external environment

How do they affect our decisions and actions? They have a great weight on them. For example, even if I have personal proof and experienced that Dwayne, my fitness coach is a very good boxer, I only had confirmation of this when watching him in the ring. The guy next to me, who also happened to be a boxing coach, added to this and complimented his superior techniques. At that point, I just concentrated on analysing his techniques and to see if ‘he walked his talk’ and honestly speaking, he fully did. I have to say I am very proud of him!

What about the external environment, does it affect us? Well, to relate to my boxing experience, the audience was shouting all sorts of advice to the fighters in the ring i.e. get your jabs going, straight punches, uppercuts, hooks, double jabs, jacks, duck, stay back, don’t give space, put him in the corner, double pin – pin, on your toes, etc.

How would you feel if you were in the ring listening to all these different advises?

Confused, right? Is this not exactly the same thing that happens in, business and life? How many times have you experienced someone who has shared new trading or marketing strategies, new advises and new self-help books with you? We are bombarded by them aren’t we?

What can we do in cases like this?

I have asked Dwayne if he could hear what the crowd was shouting at him during his bout. This was his response: ‘To be honest, I don’t hear anything. It’s all a blur. The only thing I can hear is the odd instruction from my trainers. I love it because I feel in the zone and at peace. Like I’m not worrying about work, money, problems, anything. Just fully concentrating!’ With his answer, Dwayne beautifully summaries the same type of mindset that is required to become successful in trading, business, coaching and life. This applies even more so in trading, our mindset needs to be in the zone, focused and at peace with no emotions involved! Easier said than done, I know that’s what you are thinking right now! :-)

Performance

Performance doesn’t lie. In boxing, you know when you have had a good performance as you can physically feel how well you have done! It allows you to identify what’s working and what isn’t.  It’s the proof of the effectiveness of our efforts, skills, abilities, training undertaken, strategies employed and accomplishments.

Likewise, success in trading, coaching, business and life is based on our performance. What is it that investors, clients, potential prospects are looking for in business? If you run a business, you know the answer: investors are looking for past and present performance of the company and the projection of future performance based on the actual one. Improving our performance also has a positive impact on our confidence which can further perpetuate better results in the future.

Results and review

Based on my personal experience on running my dad’s business, my own business and the experience working with client companies, results and reviews are both some of the most important factors if you want to take yourself to the next level.

In boxing you can measure results based on the feedback from your coaches/mentors and team as well as the tangible results of your training and performance in competitions. The quality of the feedback received is also important. For example, due to the rules in amateur boxing usually the outcome of the fight is left to the judges. Should one boxer triumphant over another, the referee will announce one of the two options: ‘unanimous or by majority’. Is this a significant piece of information to receive as a feedback of the boxer’s results? Definitely, if unanimous it meant that his performance was judged by all 5 different judges to be superior to his opponent’s – if it was in majority it meant that 3 or 4 judges thought that his performance was superior to his opponent’s. Clearly wining with majority shows that there is room for improvement.

How important is feedback to trading, coaching, business, and life?

In trading I personally found that nothing is more valuable than some objective tips and advice from your coach/mentor, particularly after reviewing your trades and past performance. I believe this is just as vital in business and life, don’t you? So don’t mislead yourself thinking that you can skip this step – I personally treasure feedback as the most valuable information to be given, and certainly thrive on them. People around me know what are the questions that I will always ask them: ‘What can I improve? What can I make better and more efficient? How can you benefit more? How can I make it worth of your time? What information and resources do you need to step up to the next level?’

So there you have it. All of my learning lessons I picked up during the boxing event. After reflecting on my list of discovers, I looked for some connection between them. I realised that the real commonality of all of them is they all contribute to the 4 Stages Journey that starts from the point of learning a new skill and ends at the point of unconscious competency.

What do I mean by unconscious competency?

In terms of a skill this means to be able to do it without thinking. Think about driving a car, when you first started you had to think about what you were doing. Now the process is effortless right? In next week’s article I will elaborate more on competencies, why it is important to know level you are currently at and how you can use this to your advantage.

The reason we often hear that the mastery of things can only be achieved by making errors is that mistakes shape our subconscious quickly – in other words there is a difference between knowing what to do and automatically doing what we know. ‘Mistakes are painful when they happen. But year’s later collection of mistakes is called experience, which leads to success.’ – Denis Waitle. I invite you to ready a blog written by my dear bro on this very subject: ‘If you are not making mistakes, try harder’.

So when was the last time you have done something for the first time?

As you can see from my experience It may reveal some new skills to you as it did to me! Embrace them and turn the poison into medicine to benefit you and make you grow! :-) ‘For me, life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist to survive but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.‘ – Arnold Schwarzenegger

It doesn’t matter where we are in life, if you have the right tools, techniques and especially a coach, a mentor and a team, you can accelerate your journey to your next level of Success! :-)

….and to conclude, who said that boxers are aggressive?

Based on my experience, they have a lot of respect to the point of hugging each other during the match! :-)

Remember: Today is the perfect day to start. Why? Because you will never find ‘the right time.’ You’ve just got to do it. Get the ball rolling. Take one small step every day in the direction of making your dream a reality. Make TODAY your SOMEDAY. It’s worth it and you know it! :-)

To your life journey success!

Viv :-)

Raise the bar of your game!

Hello readers,

Hope my article finds you well! :-)

 

Have you ever experienced any of the following?

  • Have you put a lot of effort into a project only to bring in measly returns? Did you feel stuck and were you tempted to give up?

 

  • Have you been in a situation where you felt you weren’t earning what you truly deserved?

 

  • Have you been stuck in a job that does not allow you to shine?

 

  • Do you want your name to be valued and respected and to live a life more wholesomely connected?

 

  • Do you long for positive change in your life? Are you longing for an opportunity to show your worth?

 

…… or perhaps it’s time for you to step up and raise the bar. Maybe you are after that salary, that contract, that client or there is something inside that tells you there is more and that you are borne to be great.

If you have experienced any of the above, you are not alone. In fact, I have recently felt connected to some of them too and even today I have received one of the most painful news ever. I was really looking forward to cooperating with one of the most inspirational guys that I know on a a project very close to my heart and today he informed me that he would not be able to as he is too busy with other projects. Did I despair or give up? Not a chance! Although I am downhearted by this news, I am a strong believer that I am the creator of my own path. I’ll do whatever it takes to make things happen, and raise the bar of my game to take my life to the next level!

During this period, the concept that really strengthen and resonated with me was that when we feel overwhelmed, discouraged and downhearted, we need some external support. Above all guidance, motivation and inspiration from someone that has walked the same path before us. For those of you who have read my article 10 Essential Truth to take yourself to the next level’ you will notice that this highlights my second strategy, to have a coach, mentor and a team.

 

How important is a coach/mentor to your success?

An experience I recently had beautifully answered this question. It all started when one of my fitness coaches, Dwayne, invited me to attend his boxing match which took place last weekend. Unknown to me at the time I felt very strange about the whole ordeal. Seeing boxers get beaten up with bloody noses …. oh it was very uncomfortable to watch! I definitely picked up a lot of learning lessons and don’t worry I’ll share the whole experience in my article next week … so stay tuned.

Now back to the subject of coaches, mentors and teams. I’ve listed some main observations I had during the boxing matches below:

1.       Coaches/mentors share their own experience

One thing that you might notice if you’ve watched boxing matches before, is during the breaks the boxer speaks to their coaches/ mentors for feedback and most importantly for tips and techniques to implement in their next round. Being there in person I could really see how heavily they relied on their coaches feedback. Based on the body language in these breaks, I could literally tell which of the two boxers was going to make the first move …

Something more intriguing was the way the boxers adapted to each other as the rounds went by. You could see how each coach/mentor would try to pick out the other teams weaknesses. Moreover how to overcome their sides bad habits. Have you ever tried to overcome one of your bad habits in the past? Challenging wasn’t it? Now imagine trying to overcome a bad habit when you are in the firing line of a boxing match.

You might also be wondering: how much can a few bits of advice from a coach/mentor really have?

Even if the coach is suggesting a few tweaks here and there, they can lead to profound changes in the athletes performance. Just think about golf, if you hit the ball at slightly the wrong angle you are going to end up miles off course! Those of us who run businesses will know how one simple idea could very well lead to massive exponential growth.

2.       Coaches/mentors are committed to our success

Something else I noticed was commitment and trust between both the boxers and their coach/mentors. The athletes would continue to look to them for help throughout the three rounds. Imagine if it was you who was taking a beating and you were putting your faith in someone outside of the ring, who is probably out of shape and long past their prime.

How would you feel about that?What kind of trust would you have to have in that person to listen to their advice?

On the other side, imagine yourself now as the coach. You have 20 years of experiencing in training and your athlete is taking a pounding. You know what he needs to do to take the win but you can’t get in there and fight the fight for him. Imagine how frustrating it would be for you. Think about the type of patience you would need to have. Imagine the kind of dedication and commitment you must have in your boxer to continue to support and motivate him to be resilient, and enthused to keep going until the end of the three matches. ‘The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win’. – Anonymous

3.       Coaches/mentors revitalise us to keep going when the going gets tough!

Something else I noticed was that the coaches/mentors were spraying water on the boxers’ faces and body. The reasons? Dwayne’s answer was that it cools the boxers down from their previous round and refreshes them for the next one. Isn’t it true that we get tired and sometimes burn out from our everyday dealings from both business and life? How do we feel when someone gives us a refreshing thought/idea or we spend time with someone that motivates us to keep the momentum going? Well, this is what the spray of water from the coaches/mentors does to the boxers. In terms of personal and business coaches/mentors, while I’ve never seen any spray water on their clients they do use techniques to help rekindle enthusiasm. Remember this kind of action is necessary to motivate and to support you in the moment of setbacks, it’s your raven fan and it will incite you to ‘keep going when the tough gets tougher!’ – W. Churchill.

 

How can a coach/mentor make us raise the bar of our game?

To find out the answer, please ponder over and honestly answer the following questions:

 

Who is the best person to plan and train Muhammed Ali to be on the ring or David Beckham to kick the ball on the football pitch?

                                                             

Have you ever heard of a boxer or a football team without a coach?

Why do the best athletes in the world still have coaches if they are already above their competition?

Let me ask you one more question:

 

Who is the person that always gets recognised by the winners?

 

Isn’t he the coach/mentor? This should make you think about how successful people raise their bar of their game to take themselves to the next level.

Now, here are the two real questions you need to ask yourself:

 

Are you coachable and willing to accept constructive feedback?

Are you willing to do what it takes to move yourself to the next level of success?

If the answers of both questions are positive then it doesn’t matter where you are now in your life journey. If you have any goal or it’s time to step up and raise the bar of your game you will need clarity, a set of actions to follow, the right tools, strategies, techniques and especially a coach, a mentor and a team to accelerate your journey to your next level of success!  J ‘It’s only by doing things others have not that one can advance.’ – George Patton

I take this opportunity to thank from the bottom of my heart, every past and present coach, mentor and everyone who is part of my team as you are very invaluable to my personal and business growth! I will not be where I am today without you as you have all played a big part in my progress :-)

A very special thanks goes to two guys who actually used to be my coaches and I dedicate this related article to them, Tom & Jit. :-) They have really touched my life and allowed me to become the person I am today, ‘they are my life turning point’, I hope I make them smile with this sentence. I have noticed so many of my self-liming beliefs eliminated since working with them. In particular one that was holding me back from writing this very blog! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, words cannot express my gratitude to you both. I will always feel very honoured and privileged to come to know and be coached by both of you and I really miss you. I wish you all the best in life, business and hope that all of your goals become a reality. Jit & Tom, may all the success of this world embrace you to become the best you can ever be! Here are the links to their blogs, I warmly invite you to get in touch with them as both really are very inspirational, talented and special guys with the extra edge of having beautiful smiles :-) and deserve a lot of recognition. Tom’s blog is Springboardyourself.wordpress.com and Jit’s blog is Trader Focus.

What are the reasons to have a coach and a mentor?

 

You’ve got to wake up every morning and ask yourself: ‘How bad do you want it? How much work are you willing to put forth for the things and people you want and need in your life?’ Nothing great comes without effort. But I promise you that if it’s something of great meaning in your heart and something you need in your life…every RISK, every STEP and every DROP of SWEAT will be worth it, I have experienced it so many times in my life. The more energy and effort you put in, the more reward, satisfaction and appreciation you get out! :-)

Are you ready to begin your journey and raise the bar of your game to the next level? Are you ready to make your mark on the world and demonstrate to yourself you were always born to be great? I am ready to help you on your journey to success and would be honoured and privileged to do so. Please do contact me when you have answered this question with a resounding YES!

 

‘Let others lead small lives but not you.

Let others argue over small things but not you.

Let others cry over small hurts but not you.

Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands but not you.’ – Jim Rohn

Remember: you are born unlimited and ready for your greatness. It’s now your time to rise and shine and ignite your brightest spark. It’s time to make your mark and set your wealth and talent free. You were born to shine like the brightest star on the clearest night and now it’s your time to step into the light! :-)

 Well Done, Dwayne!  :-)

If you have any fitness goal to achieve, he is ‘your guy’ and he is waiting for you! :-)

To your success and to raise your game by having your coach and mentor,

Viv :-)

6 Techniques to train Your Mindset for Success!

A warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope my article finds you well. :-)

Last week I spoke about the 10 essential truths to bring you to the next level in life. If you haven’t read it already please take a look here: https://catalystinspiration.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/10-essentials-truths-to-take-yourself-to-the-next-level/.

For the rest of us, as promised I will follow up each of the 10 truths in detail. You might remember that the first one was to “work consistently on your mindset.” As you already know mindset/psychology is my favorite subject. With each passing day, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that having a positive mindset is imperative to success as it gives you the extra edge for taking yourself to the next level.

You might ask: What exactly is a positive mindset?

A positive mindset is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and success. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favourable results.

 

So how exactly can we get a positive mindset?

 

Let me first ask you this question:

 

Have you ever experienced thoughts that eventually became your reality?

Don’t worry, you have not been gifted with special powers. It happens because whatever you think and believe defines the way you interpret life. You will search around to find evidence to support your stance to the exclusion of all alternative points of view. As a result your life becomes an extension of what you believe in, just like a self-fulfilling prophecy. So to obtain a positive mindset we need to search for evidence to support our stance.

As always some work and actions need to be involved to get the best of any situation and having the right mindset is not any different. This will apply to any fields of life. Check out this post Trading Affirmations: for the Successful Trader’s Mindset to find out more on how their set their winning mindset.

Here are 6 Techniques to train your mind for success.

 

1. Wake up Early and Embrace Carpe Diem

One of the best ways to help you maintain a positive mindset is to create the habit of waking up early. Waking up early allows you to get ahead on important projects before the rest of the world is awake to interrupt you.

My favourite motto is Carpe Diem, seize the day. From the moment I get up I start visualising what I truly want to achieve and what I truly am grateful for in my life. I then prioritise my daily tasks. This makes me more productive and efficient and allows me to adapt more effectively to things that might pop up later on. So in my first hour I am already filled with positivity and ready to seize the day!

To learn more about embracing Carpe Diem I recommend reading my dear bro’s recent article on this very subject here: http://springboardyourself.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/carpe-diem/. Also if you would like to read about what successful people do in their first hour, my bro’s inspirational friend, wrote an article on this topic. Here is his link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/what-successful-people-do-in-first-hour.html.

 

2. Exercise

Very few things in life leverage your time as much as exercise, as such this is my second action of my day. Obviously it makes a difference to your physical well-being  but it also has significant benefits to your mental health. Exercise is useful to improve your overall positive mood. Further, if you exercise early in the morning you can go through your day knowing that you have already completed the most valuable activity you had to do! It really gives you an extra edge to your day and your mindset when you exercise first thing in the morning. Your energy levels are so high and positive that hardly any bad news or unforeseen occurrences will bring you down! :-) If you don’t believe me, give it a go and let me know!

3. Read Positive and Inspiring Books and Listen to Podcasts/audio books/music

One of the best ways to maintain a positive mindset is by reading positive books, or listening to podcasts/audio books and music.  They serve to encourage you, inspire you, and teach you. They embody your life in positivity, you will notice how your words change in conversation, or how you now have a more optimistic outlook in life. The added bonus of listening to podcasts or audio books is that you can listen to them on the go. For example while hoovering the house, driving your car and doing your early morning exercise.

Music is magical, it can change your state in less than a second, I can guarantee it! Whenever I am working late, as I have done recently, I get very little sleep and find music is the perfect remedy to kick start my day! The morning I started playing my favourite tunes as an alarm, I just couldn’t help it – I started dancing in the bed. In fact I jumped out! I was so surprised as I barely had 2 hours of sleep!

What are your favourite tunes? Obviously the music that makes you feel happy and energised. It’s important that you select this type of music over your preferred music. For example I really love classical music, but unfortunately it doesn’t exactly kick start my day!

I have recently mentioned this technique to a friend of mine and she changed her alarm too.  She could not believe the difference it made! I suggest you give it a go and see for yourself! :-) Please do comment and share your experiences.

 

4. Change your negative thoughts into positive ones

Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it, and endeavour to replace it with a constructive one. Should the negative thought try to enter your mind again you need to be ready to repeat the process and a technique called positive self-talking.Positive self-talking is essentially repeating positive thoughts over and over again. For example if you are faced with a negative situation, you might say “you’ll be twice as good if you can beat this problem!” It is one of the most powerful tools that I adopt to self-motivate myself to take prompt actions! It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you have to choose to look at one of them, and disregard the other.

What do you see? Is the glass half full or half empty?

Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively, and to ignore negative thoughts. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favourable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly. If you persevere, you will transform the way your mind thinks. It might take some time for the changes to take place, but eventually they will.

 

5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Positive and negative thinking is contagious. As a result the people around you have a big impact on how you think. All of us affect the people we meet, in one way or another. This happens instinctively and on a subconscious level, through our thoughts and feelings, and through body language. Think about when someone smiles at us, we subconsciously smile back at them! People sense our auras, and are affected by our thoughts, and vice  versa. Is it any wonder that we want to be around positive people, and prefer to avoid negative ones? People are more disposed to help us, if we are positive, and they dislike and avoid anyone broadcasting negativity. Negative thoughts, words and attitudes bring up negative and unhappy moods and actions. This is the way to failure, frustration and disappointment.

6. Be Thankful

Take some time to be thankful about what you have, who you are, and what your life is like. Think through all of the things that you can be thankful for. Even if you are in a tough time in life there are many things you have that you can be thankful for i.e. you are alive, have a family, friends, etc. You need to look for them and recognise them. The very act of focusing on what you are thankful for will help you maintain your positive attitude.

Now that I have shared the 6 techniques to train your mindset for success it’s now down to you to apply them. Remember, knowledge without implementation brings no difference in our life, it doesn’t serve us at all. Without taking action now,you have wasted some of your precious time!

 

Also remember that having a positive mindset is a journey and it starts with self-awareness. Being the best has nothing to do with size, education, or ancestry; it has everything to do with decision, commitment, action, persistence and mindset. Zig Ziglar gets it right when he says, “It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.” Sure you need skills, but you can learn skills – in fact a positive attitude/mindset will make it much more likely that you will learn the skills necessary to succeed.

Focus on getting the mindset you need and get your priorities in order. You create success by taking action NOW and seriously applying yourself to something in a persistent, dedicated and focused way.

I want to leave you with a powerful quote to decide if you are up for the challenge to take yourself to the next level:

‘Who are you now?

Who have you decided to become?

Make this decision consciously.

Make it carefully.

Make it powerfully.

Then Act upon it.’ – Tony Robbins

Now, it’s up to you to make the decision to take yourself to your next level and most importantly to take immediate action to achieve your goals and move forward in your life and in your business!  :-)

‘A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.’ – Tony Robbins

Don’t delay in making your decision as time is the most precious commodity that we have – once it’s gone we can’t get it back! So, ACT NOW and join me in the challenge to take ourselves to the next level! It won’t be easy but you will not regret it and your results will definitely make it worthwhile! :-) I’m ready, how about you?

To taking yourself to the next level by working constantly on your positive mindset!!!

Viv :-)

 

8 Benefits to finish the year Successfully!

A warm greeting to all my readers,

Hope this article finds you well! :-)

My previous article covered the 10 strategies to finish the year successfully. I have received a lot of positive feedback and I am glad that it has been useful to many of you. If you haven’t read it yet I do invite you to do so by clicking on this link: https://catalystinspiration.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/433/. It will provide you with the practical tips to achieve your goals. As always you need to implement them into your life if you want to see the results.

A question that I was actually pondering on for a while was the following:

What are the benefits of finishing the year successfully?

When faced with setbacks, understanding why we have chosen a certain course of action will help act as an internal driver and motivate us to keep going. If we don’t understand the reason and above all the benefits of having a successful ending of the year, we will not apply any of the strategies that I have suggested last week.

Let’s examine the benefits in more detail to eliminate any remaining excuses that might be holding us back from implementing the strategies suggested.

Let’s ensure we finish the year successfully!

1. Fixed Deadlines. Having a fixed non-negotiable deadline makes us watch how we use our time. Knowing that the clock is ticking is one of the best motivators for taking action. It represents our Commitment, reinforces our Accountability and creates a Sense of Urgency!

2. Chance for redemption. If we are below target and our back is against the wall, it will provide us with a last chance for redemption. Look at this as comeback time! If we are below target, I suggest to GET MAD! Pain, failure, loss and embarrassment are such great motivators. You should allow adversity to force your hand to make new choices and take new actions. Use the pain as fuel that drives your comeback. It will become the fuel that perpetuates your current situation. ‘A Champion is someone who gets up when they can’t.’ – Jack Dempsey

3. Set an Inspiring Example. Our performance could be seen as the sad consequence of neglect, poor character, lack of direction and ambition or it could be an inspiring example of talent put to use in the intense pursuit of clearly defined year-end goals. To reinforce this subject, I invite you to read a post of one of my inspiring friends. Here his blog link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/the-only-source-of-knowledge-is.html.

4. Build Momentum for the New Year. This is one of the smartest things we can do as it provides a powerful platform for a fast start from January next year.

5. Intensifies our Focus. Knowing that both options and time are diminishing assets. Our ability to focus on high pay-off activities becomes an obvious priority for securing a successful finish to the year.

6. Close Execution Gaps. This is the opportunity to close the gap between the goals we planned for ourselves at the start of the year and the actual results we have achieved to date.

 7. Character Defining Moment. Our ability to finish the year by achieving our goals is all about character. It’s about turning a flashlight to our soul to inspect ourselves for will, courage, conviction and pride. To see what we are really made of. Don’t wait for life to hand you things, anything worth having is worth fighting for! ‘Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life’Sylvester Stallone

8. Throw Down a Challenge. There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned challenge to test our limits, is there? Exceed quotas and expectations to keep our teeth sharp and see how far we can go by finishing this year successfully. ‘Life is meant to be a challenge, because challenges are what make you grow.’ – Manny Pacquiao. To emphases this benefit, my dear bro wrote an article on how having a positive mindset will bring positive results even though challenges are along the way. Enjoy reading his real life article by clicking on his link: http://springboardyourself.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/attitude-trumps-aptitude/.

Did I take you by surprised with the reasons listed above? I hope not and at the same time, I hope I gave you enough good reasons to make the decision to review your goals set at the beginning of the year. Now that you know them, it’s your call for action and you know that only you can do what’s needed to be done to achieve them, nobody else can live your life for you. This is the gift of life so treasure it and live it to the fullest! :-)

How far away are you from your intended targets?

Take action now and close the gap by creating a specific set of tasks for us to complete with non-negotiable deadlines….it won’t take much time before we start seeing amazing results as any task and goal takes as much time as we allow it to take. We will be constantly challenged to perform and expected to complete tasks and activities on deadline. The discipline of deadline enforcement ensures rapid and ongoing goal achievement. This is why we will be putting these 8 powerful strategic benefits to good use. Do the work necessary to finish the year successfully. Remember that ‘if you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.‘ – Michael Jordan

If we focus on problems, we’ll have more problems. When we focus on possibilities, we’ll have more opportunities. ‘Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.’ – Michael Jordan

There will never be a day that does not require dedication, discipline, good judgment, physical vitality and the opportunity for improvement. Each and every day provides you with the opportunity to get better, to stand out, to answer the call, to prove your greatness and demonstrate excellence to each and every turn. As a result ensure everything you do counts as it does! :-)

To your successful achievements!

Viv :-)

Paralympics inspiration: How to turn from ordinary to extraordinary

Hope my article finds you all well! :)

Yesterday, I had the chance to watch the Paralympics as I waited to be seen by someone for a meeting. I was so inspired by it! Usually when you have to speak to someone and you wait for months to have an appointment, you feel a bit uncomfortable especially the waiting time from your arrival in their premises to the time you will be speaking and I can tell you that I had to wait for nearly 5 hours, now I know why they say that ‘Patience is a virtue’ which obviously I don’t have. Watching the Paralympics made the time fly by, it’s  rare I’m sitting in front of the screen that long, in fact I could not remember the last time it happened! The two games on yesterday afternoon were basketball and tennis. Both were played by players on wheelchairs. Watching them play sprang some important questions to mind:

What would I have done if I lost the use of my legs, my arms or any other part of my body?

How would I use my day and my time?

What mind-set would I be in? Positive or negative? Would I be looking for opportunity for me to excel or opportunity for me to blame others for my condition?

What would I have accomplished in my life if I was disabled?

I have to admit that these were quite deep questions to be asking myself, especially before an important meeting. The time spent in reflection actually allowed me to put things into perspective and calmed me down… A strange feeling for me as I’m usually in the state of controlled panic or fear, as I’m always pushing myself out of my comfort zone…

Do you want to find out how my meeting went? Well honestly speaking, I was too relaxed for a meeting it was nearly like we were paly paly mates and some weird subjects came out from the conversation (don’t think wrongly, it was just strange and unexpected to be speaking about my bro in that meeting!). Obviously I did not give my 100% but I believe that there is a reason for everything that happens in life and therefore I will happily invite the result of this one soon enough! :)

The most amazing thing that I have noticed while watching the Paralympics is their use of skills and talents to win the games even if these are different from what people usually expect i.e. I have always been told that I was too short to become a good basketball player during my school years (good thing I did not listen to them, as even if they were right about my height I compensated this gap with my running skills :)). The players in the these games are not just disadvantaged by their height but many other setbacks too. How do they still play exceptionally well and achieve this level of athleticism? I’m sure many people who see athletes or other successful types achieving great accomplishments immediately believe it all must be down to natural talent. Is this really the case? In my opinion I believe this is the biggest excuse we can tell ourselves when we don’t want to face our own challenges. Think about it, how is it possible for them to be naturally talented given that some will have become disabled along the way. Some also have only been competing for the last few years. Natural talent cannot be the only determining factor here.

What is their secret?

The true reality is that they have a very strong mind-set and mental metal of not wanting to give up life and their goals… just imagine for a second you were training for sport at the highest level, then life hits you hard with a serious injury. Most would give in, imagine playing tennis with no legs? Not for these athletes, they won’t let life take the best of them and ensure that they stay in control. They work hard to be the best and do the best with what they have. Determination, discipline and dedication is what really makes these people achievers in life!

So ask yourself the question:

Are you giving yourself the excuse that you don’t possess any natural talent or do you believe you can get what you want by applying the Paralympic do or die mind-set?

I have to admit that often people tell me that I am special. That I was born talented. However I see myself as ordinary with no talents in any area of my life. I have always just tried hard at everything I do, it reminds me of this quote I recently found, “I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. You know. While the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working. While the other guy is eating, I’m working.“~ Will Smith. I fully agree with this quote as most of the successful people that I know, myself included don’t see ourselves as talented but instead hard working. All successes, I have personally achieved until now are due to perseverance, determination, dedication, commitment, hard work, a strong mental metal of not giving up, and finally making it all happen by taking prompt actions! There’s nothing special about me just a lot of determination and persistency to achieve my goals by acquiring the skills I need to fulfil them! That’s not a secret, is it? Last week, I have mentioned and included an article written by a very inspirational friend of my bros. It’s all about this subject and if you have not read it yet, you will certainly be blown away. :) Here is the link: What Does Rocky and a Trader Have in Common?

A few questions at this moment come to mind I wish to share with you:

What about us? What are the excuses we are telling ourselves to sabotage our success?

Are we giving in to what the stereotype world dictate we need to be to become successful and accomplished?

Do we tolerate and become influenced by other people’s opinions of what we should or shouldn’t do to achieve our goals and live our lives to the fullest?

Are we playing our life games according to other people’s rules and expectations?

Are we really using all of our skills and talents to play out our life to the fullest?

It saddens me to see in reality most of our abilities, skills and talents all end up unexploited. We spend our life contemplating what we wish for and we spend even more time dreaming of it whilst telling ourselves so many excuses why we can’t get the life we envision in our mind. To be honest, most of us are not prepared to live outside our comfort zone and put the hard work and dedication to achieving our goals. If you really want to live to your potential don’t wish for it work for it! On this note, my bro just wrote an article on the benefits of making mistakes. I invite you to read it. Here is the link: If You Are Not Making Mistakes Try Harder. It is funny that I had a conversation with him yesterday with not an happy ending and I wasn’t expecting he was going to write an article on making mistakes! I guess and I hope in this case, my bro is prepared to forgive or understand me as I make so many mistakes with him and add to his life a bit of spicy to make him feel uncomfortable as he likes it. :) As he wrote on his blog: ‘Successful people are always pushing themselves outside their comfort zone in order to progress. Inevitably, working at this high level, we are prone to mistakes. However as I have mentioned before, mistakes are a wonderful way, perhaps the only way, to learn, evolve and develop. So if you are not making mistakes, and living in your comfort zone then you simply need to push yourself harder. A clear sign that you are building the right mindset for success is that you should ironically become uncomfortable being comfortable. I go stir crazy when my life is comfortable. This drives me to taking on more challenging projects, pushing myself further and further outside my comfort zone and never settling for average.’

Watching the Paralympics, definitely opened up new perspectives to me! Watching these athletes made me think all of them are winners and I hope you agree with me that all of them deserve a gold medal for their incredible and amazing mind-set to overcome what life throws at them. They most certainly have gone from ordinary to extraordinary!

 

‘Next time you’re stressed, take a step back, inhale and laugh. Remember who you are and why you’re here. You’re never given anything in this world that you can’t handle. Be strong, be flexible, love yourself and love others. Always remember, just keep moving forward.’

 

‘Will you look back in life and say: ‘I wish I had’ or ‘I’m glad I did’?’ – Zig Ziglar

To being inspired in taking action now to achieve your successes!

Viv :)

What are your learning curves from the past months? Part 2

A very good morning to all my readers,

I want to open my article with a big THANK you to all of you and for your wonderful feedback, emails and texts received over the past months. They were really encouraging and I felt uplifted, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Also a big THANKS for reading my bro’s blog, it made a really great surprise for his special day!  :-)

As you can recognise from the title, it is time again for reflection!

How are you doing with achieving your goals set last January? Are you on track, behind or ahead?

It’s good sometimes to do a revision exercise to analyse where we are in life, where we want to be and what steps will take us there! It’s important to ensure that we obtain what we really want in life and don’t settle for less!!! Maybe for some of you, it’s action time! It’s definitely for me, I have realised that this year has been a very different one from my previous ones! I can describe it with only one word: WAITING! A quote that summaries this concept well is this one: ‘We only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make’. That is so true! Every goal that I have not yet achieved this year has only one common denominator: I was waiting for someone (sadly it was the same person all the time) or for the perfect occasion (again the same person was involved)! To be honest, I am quite annoyed with myself! Now that I am aware of what has slowed me down from achieving my goals I can overcome it!

I will share with you what I have personally learnt in the last four months. Please feel free to comment and to share your own lessons too! :-)

Before I start, please take your time to answer the questions below, don’t rush and above all be honest with yourself if you want to achieve personal growth and become a better you!  This is one of the most important times you can dedicate to achieving your goals and ultimately your life successes! Once you have discovered your lessons, please feel free to compare them with mine…let me know how many we have in common, I would love to share your journey…

Ready to answer these questions?

What have you learned from your past months?

What lessons did you gather?

How did you benefit from them?

What could you have changed to improve your performance and results?

What three actions can you take to get nearer to your goal and be successful?

Now that you have gathered your lessons, please read what I have learned…Don’t forget to compare it and let me know how many we have in common…

Here are my learning pointers for the past months:

Stay focused:  we live in a world where we are bombarded by information, knowledge, adverts, etc and as far as all these are useful advantages to our life in the long run, if left unchecked, they become a distraction. As an example I was coaching someone a few weeks ago and we were working on time management (this is recently becoming a regular topic in my coaching sessions). When I asked what was using the majority of the client’s time, the response was surfing the internet. You research one topic and suddenly you start surfing ten other ones connected to it! Clearly this demonstrates that we need to focus on our goals to achieve them. There are so many things that can easily distract us especially if we have short attention spans!

A great way to visualise focus is to think of horse blinkers. The flaps that prevent the horse from looking anywhere but straight ahead. It’s important we learn to use our own blinkers to keep us focused on a day to day basis, and I’m not talking literally!

What takes most of your time during the day or week?

What are your eye blinkers to keep you focused?

What actions can you take to help you stay focused on your goals?

The honest answers to the questions above, will speed up your progress in achieving your goals and your successes!

Unwavering Clarity & Self-Awareness: the more I self-reflect the more I realise how much I owe my success primary to my clarity in what I wanted to do in my life. Since the age of 6 I have had a vision and dreams of where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. It is so amazing to see them all come to reality. This was all the result of focus and determination to keep going even when others were obstructing me. I believe the most difficult lesson was to be disciplined, you see I always go for what people dared not to do. Every time someone tells me “this task will be very difficult to master,” these are the magic words to make me want to take it on! Yes, challenges are what make me accomplish my goals and plans!

What is your activator bar?

What makes you act no matter how big the goal is?

This is one of your strengths, if you have self-awareness of who you are, you can use it to your advantage. For example when you do not feel motivated to do something, you can change your mind-set and perceive things in a way that will encourage you to take action. This is a very powerful tool and technique to know!

How can you acquire more clarity and self-awareness?

 

What are your values and beliefs?

 

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What are the reasons of making your choices and decisions in your life?

Are you making a conscious decision or an unconscious reaction?

 

The honest answers to the above questions will provide you with a better understanding of who you are and what you want from your life. Consequently you will take action accordingly to achieve your goals and your success! Just remember that your happiness and success in life comes from clarity as to who you are. As you become more aware of yourself and feel more comfortable in your own skin, other people will be drawn to you and bring you greater opportunity!

For more details, see my previous articles on Ready to find your light bulb, Ready for your SWOT analysis and The 3’C’s in Succcess! Here are the links:

Ready To Find Your Light Bulb moment?

Ready For Your Swot Analysis?

The 3 ‘C’s in Succcess,

 

Confidence: you need to have a certain degree of confidence to achieve your goals and become successful. Without it you will find it difficult to take action and move forward. To back up this point, I have coached numerous people and believe me the common denominator of not taking action was lack of confidence. Is it true that if you don’t believe in someone and/or in a strategy as human beings we won’t take any action? Think about your everyday life i.e. where do you buy your clothes? your shoes? where do you take your things for repair? who do you choose to make business with? Is it not someone who you really trust and have proven worthy of our confidence? I am sure you agree with me!

What does it mean to be a confident person?

What does having a lack of confidence cost you on a daily basis?

How can we increase our level of confidence firstly in ourselves and in others?

What actions can you take to boost your confidence?

To understand the importance of having confidence, I came across this inspiring quote:

“Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.” ~ Stan Smith

Even if we’re reasonably assured most of the time, it is beneficial to do a little mental strengthening check up every now and then. It feels good to be confident, which in turn perpetuates further confidence, impresses people and brings you success.

 

In my previous articles, I have shared 5 ways to increase your confidence which are: Get to know who we are and what we want out of life, face our fears, prepare, take action and realise that failure or being wrong would not harm you. For more details, please read my articles On Becoming Unstoppable & Becoming Unstoppable Part 2! Here are the two links:

 

Becoming Unstoppable

Becoming Unstoppable Part 2

 

Consistent preparation and developing a Positive Mind-set: “One important key to success is confidence. An important key to confidence is preparation.”  ~ Arthur Ashe “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

 

Have you ever experienced the situation where you are undertaking something new and noticed how you very quickly get lost in thoughts and actions?

You start building ‘what if’ scenarios in your mind of what may happen.

Definitely, preparing and educating ourselves can be a big help in making a huge difference in our confidence levels but we need to take the time to prepare ourselves. Obviously, this is more work than not doing anything about it. For example by rehearsing and rewriting our speech over and over again, we can learn it by heart. By doing research we can find breathing techniques that can quickly make us calmer and more confident as we deliver our speech.

Preparation is the key to feeling more comfortable and confident. Just don’t make the mistake of getting stuck in the preparation phase and using it as a way to avoid taking action and the possible pain that it may lead to. As for me, I knew that if I wanted to be successful I needed to be prepared for any eventuality, ensuring that I didn’t miss out on any opportunities! This is the hardest skill to work on as we often prepare based on previous knowledge of people, situations, events, etc. but sometimes there is the surprise effect – something unexpected comes up and we ask ourselves questions such as: What do I do now? What do I say?

 

How can you prepare for it?

What is the best behaviour in surprise effect situations?

What provides you with the best edge?

Not an easy scenario to face is it? Sometimes, because we are not prepared for unexpected situations, we miss out on big opportunity in life! In order to have an edge we need to ensure that we prepare for the predictable and do our best when things get impulsive. Our confidence will grow overtime and we will learn to keep it cool even when we don’t know who we may meet or what might happen next.

Regarding having a positive mind-set that is a must! I have a very strong passion for mind-set and psychology, and so both are subjects I often like to talk about. I am a strong believer that your mind-set counts for more than 90%, if not 100% of life’s successes, in any field. If you don’t have the right state of mind and positivity, even a success could turn into a failure. I am sure that you know what I am talking about, as all of us have experienced it. We believe what we tell ourselves and it will make a huge difference when we focus on having a positive mind-set! We end up seeing opportunities where others see difficulties!

When faced with a challenging situation ask yourself the following questions to ensure you have a positive mind-set:

How can I benefit from this event, circumstance or occasion?

How can I use this event to my advantage?

What did I learn from it that will assist me for the better?

Exercise and healthy lifestyle: I learned this lesson at the expense of my own health. I have to admit that I have to thank my dear bro as he is an avid fan of the gym! So I could not stand the fact that he is so fit and healthy and I was not. Out of a challenge with myself, I decided that if he could be, I could be too.  Without any hesitation knowing that with hard work, determination, disciplined and persistence, I would be able to achieve my fitness goal, to be fit and toned! I felt like I went through an education program on how, what and when to eat, how to exercise, what muscles to exercise, what type of exercise to follow based on different needs, etc. I have to admit that I felt so ignorant when I first started and I often asked myself the reason why people do not know all this information. It was then that I realised how all this information can end up being contradictory, there is literally so many different opinions on the subject! I consider myself quite fortunate to have surrounded myself with qualified fitness individuals/coaches that were willing to share their information with me and above all help me understand what type of nutrition and exercises were the most effective for my objective. A big thank you to all of you and above all to my bro who got me started!  (just to say that he has a degree in Science)…I felt like Tommy was my dad when he was patiently and lovingly providing me with the answers to my questions and the tips on how to improve my performance! Thank you, much appreciated, Bro! :-)

So I learnt how important it is to exercise, eat healthy and sleep enough to be at the peak of your performance! Your body will appreciate it if you only listened to it!!! For more details, see my articles on fitness: How much can you tell from appearance? 10 ways to keep your motivation to exercise, and Viv’s hot proven tips to keep your motivation fool-proof! Part 1 and Part 2. Here are the links:

Fitness: How Much Can You Tell From Appearance?

Fitness 10 Ways to Keep Your Motivation to Exercise?

Fitness Vivs 8 Hot Proven Tips to Keep Your Motivation Foolproof Part 1

Fitness Vivs 8 Hot Proven Tips to Keep Your Motivation Foolproof Part 2

 

Skills of leverage & delegation: Another important lesson was when I learnt the true meaning of the words delegation and leverage! What a relief it was! Even until now, I can’t believe how much I could have accomplished if I had learnt to delegate and leverage earlier in my life. This is particularly true when I was working in the corporate world! Later is better than never as some say! What stopped me was something called perfectionism, some of you may have experienced it! Only when you realise that perfection is relative and not absolute, will you start to delegate  others. Obviously if your standards are high, at the beginning everything will appear less than adequate to you. However, I can guarantee that one day, someone will impress you with their job and you will start to delegate more and more. You will understand how much time, resources and efforts you will save!

A very recent lesson that I learnt is regarding networking! Let’s just say that it is not my cup of tea! Most people that know me may be surprised to read this, as I am always at events, smiling and engaging everyone I meet!  The lesson that I learnt was that people usually go to networking events to find potential clients for their business by collecting as many contacts as possible, I do not! I usually leave with a maximum of two or three business cards of people that I have spent most of the time talking to! So when we contact each other we will already have good memory of who the other person is and what we spoke about. This way we have a lower chance of mixing people up and ending up getting embarrassed. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? I believe that quality is more important than quantity! Another reason is that I do not look for clients during the events but I look for potential joint ventures instead. This works to help leverage each other strengths, time and resources! It also helps you gain some support and guidance from influent people during your journey. Clever idea, isn’t it?

See my article on 5 Steps to Effective Delegation for more details. Here is the link:

5 Steps to Effective Delegation

Surround yourself with a positive circle of influence and role models to learn from: here comes the beautiful concept of modelling. This is an NLP concept that is vastly well known. You need to learn from others who have walked the path before you, it is called ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’. Modelling is highly valued and it makes sense to copy someone who has already achieved what we want to accomplish as I did with my dear Bro! This allows us to achieve our success in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

Who are the people who have already achieved this result in the past?

How can you model them to the best of your abilities?

How can you establish a relationship with your role models?

How can you add value to them?

To have role models will add a new dimension to your life, you will see faster results with the minimum use of your resources as you learn to work in the smartest way possible! I can definitely guarantee this! Obviously to keep the momentum going, you need to surround yourself with a positive circle of influence such as like minded individuals who share the same goals and aspirations as you do. This means that when you are facing tough challenges, they will be there to raise your spirits and encourage you to keep going.

For more details see my articles on Circle of Influence: ‘What does it tell you about yourself’ & ‘How does it affect your life’. Here are the links:

Your Circle of Influence What Does it Tell You About Yourself?

Your Circle of Influence How Does it Affect Your Life?

Above are my main lessons that I have learnt in the past months. To be honest, when I sat down to write this article, I could not think of anything of value I could give to you. For some reason which I am still not sure about, I did not want to look back into my past (that’s very unusual of me as through analysing your past experiences you learn the lessons of your life). Until I read one of my bro’s mate’s article titled ‘What does Rocky and a Trader have in common? A real rags to riches story…’ as you can guess, he is a financial market trader.  It really inspired me, all my learning lessons flew into my mind and I could not stop to write them…Most probably because the article highlighted the life experience of Rocky who inspired me since I was a child – maybe now it’s clearer where I get all my determination from. I invite you to read his inspiring article in full here: What Does Rocky and a Trader Have in Common?.

So, have you compared your learning lessons with mine? How many do we have in common?

Please let me know as I would love to share yours and learn from them. It will be very interesting and amazing to see your different perspectives of life!

Have you noticed again what is the acronym of my learning lessons? Let me know if you do!

After self-reflecting I hope you can see to get the best out of every event, circumstance, emotions, etc. which occur in our lives, we need to approach them with a positive mind-set. We need to ask ourselves the magical and powerful question:

What have I learned from my experiences?

 

Remember to take notes and put them into practice as every third of the year, I will write my own ones and you will have them ready to compare them with mine. Perhaps more importantly this will give more meaning to your experiences and to live your life to the full! As always, this is the beauty of life, it leaves something to learn from to enhance and enrich our future! “We come this way but once. We can either tiptoe through life and hope that we get to death without being too badly bruised or we can live a full, complete life achieving our goals and realising our wildest dreams.’ Bob Proctor

To your learning lessons which lead to your success!

Viv :-)

Fitness: Viv’s hot proven tips to keep your motivation foolproof! Part 2

A warm greetings to all my readers,

I hope you enjoyed last week’s article and many thanks for checking out my bro’s blog. It really was a nice surprise for him and for me as it was my highest hits day of this year! :-)If you haven’t read his inspiring article on ‘Olympic Dedication’ yet, here his link: http://springboardyourself.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/olympic-dedication/.

In part 1, I shared 4 out of my 8 proven tips to keep my motivation foolproof. You will have noticed they all focused on organisation and strategy. The tips I will be revealing in this article will be focused on the mind-set. To start we need to work on our mind-set and need to understand the importance of fitness in our lives. Moreover the reasons why we workout.

What are your thoughts on fitness? What comes to your mind when you think about fitness?

Are your thoughts positive or negative?

If positive then you are starting with the right attitude. If you are thinking about fitness in a negative light, such as it’s too hard or it requires a lot of time, then you will need to focus on your mind-set to a greater degree. This is because everything starts from your feelings, the way you feel about people and things which affect your thoughts and consequently your actions. Not to worry here are my four proven tips to keep you motivated to fitness success!

Tip 5 : Make your goals visual with a Visualising Board

Use a visualising board to keep you motivated. Put pictures of the body you want to get and when you don’t feel motivated, look at it – believe me it works… When you visualise your goals clearly and specifically, you create a positive state of mind for changing your exercise behaviour. Make your mental rehearsal vivid and specific — see yourself exercising and achieving your fitness goals. My two visual boards are located in strategic places: one on my fridge and one in my bedroom next to my pillow so I always remind myself of my fitness goals before I go to sleep or after I wake up. In addition to this I have one as a screen saver in my laptop for back up during the day. By building your visualising board today it will keep you focused and motivated to achieve your fitness goals!

 

Tip 6 : Choose your workout music

This is very important because all of us have a different taste in music. For example some music that will help motivate me, may not have the same effect with you. Download into your iPod, your favourite upbeat music and use it during your workout, you will see the difference it will make in your speed and results…It also will keep you going when you think you have already  given your 100%, music makes miracles…Personally I can’t live without it!

 

Tip 7 : Choose who you let into your health and fitness circle of influence carefully and make your goals public!

Surround yourself with healthy people and those who love exercise and fitness. Enter some Fitness Challenges to hold you accountable of your actions and your results! I have recently entered two and they have made a huge impact to mine!

Make your goals public – maybe not as public as I’ve been doing with my articles! By telling other people what we want to do helps us to commit. We feel that we have to train otherwise we would be letting everyone down. Also people can encourage and support too. In this way we become motivated.

Having a peer group with similar ambitions will help keep you on track. You will find the topic of fitness will be in regular conversation, what to eat, how to train. All of this will reinforce what you set out to do. I actually want to thank all the members who participated in the challenges I mentioned previously, they have played a big part in supporting me to my success! If you don’t have anyone who is involved in exercise you can subscribe to health magazines, fitness quotes, fitness clubs, etc. This will have the same effect on your mind-set as spending time with a physical person…I know it’s more fun and it’s more enjoyable to have someone to talk to about it but it still works when nobody is around!

 

Tip 8 : Work on your mind-set and focus on the ‘Feel Good Factor’!

It’s important to identify thoughts that undermine our desire to exercise regularly. Countering those thoughts with messages that reinforce our motivation can help us achieve our goals. Paying attention to what goes through your mind when it’s time to exercise will help you change the thoughts and habits that could be holding you back. Write down each thought, such as, “It’s too hard,” “I’m too out of shape,” “I don’t have time,” or “I’d rather watch TV”, etc. After you do this replace the mentioned sabotaging thoughts with “positive self-talk” – such as encouraging yourself to exercise and acknowledging your accomplishments by making positive statements to yourself for example ‘Well done!’, ‘Better performance’, ‘Great results!’, etc. If you think it’s too hard to exercise, write out a plan to gradually increase your exercise intensity. Becoming stronger will give you greater endurance for exercise and will make your workouts less challenging. Don’t forget to read over your goals and reasons for exercising on a daily basis as it helps to reinforce your motivation.

Always focus on how good you feel after making the decision to workout, you’ll never regret it! ‘Tough times are like physical exercise. You may not like it while you are doing it, but tomorrow you will be stronger because of it.’ :-)

 

In my own pursuit of learning more about the mind-set I have had the pleasure of being inspired by another very talented guy who has recently written a very powerful article on its implications in elite performance. He points out there is a commonality among high achievers such as Usain Bolt and Steve Jobs … don’t forget to read his final paragraph, it’s so inspiring and very motivating! Here is his link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/p/trader-psychology.html

 

To boost our motivation to exercise, we need to change our thoughts to affect our feelings and consequently our actions and results. Positive thinking is a very good starting point! :-)

 

 

This last tip is the most important of all as your results will depend on your mental strengths so don’t underestimate it’s power! You can’t have both excuses and results together! Get rid of your excuses and you will see your tangible results!

How do you feel now? How are your thoughts about health and fitness now? Still the same or have you noticed any difference?

 

Are you NOW motivated to keep your routine workout?

I actually can hear some of you saying: ‘I wish it was so simple’. The thing is that it really is this simple, just it isn’t easy. Otherwise everyone would have a healthy and fit body and it wouldn’t be one of the hottest topics on this planet! I have been struggling with this sector of my life for a long time. After giving it my very best and obtaining great results, I was so surprised to realise how simple this all is! I know how you are feeling now as I have been there many times and this is why I urge you to follow the tips above and you will experience a turnaround of your health and Fitness levels:-)

The first stage, the starting point is quite possibly the hardest step you will make in your journey to improve your health and fitness. Just remember ‘you don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great’. Once you have started and won the ‘Monday there is a new me’ scenario, you need to find a daily motivation to keep going for the rest of the week and to ultimately achieve your health and fitness results. Do not be concerned, as ‘behind you is infinite power, before you is endless possibility, around you is boundless opportunity, your strength is mental, physical and spiritual.’ ~ 50 cent. Then we need to balance out between exercise and nutrition to get results as ‘fitness is 100% dedication to your exercise and your diet’. When your short-term goals become a challenge, remind yourself each day that your long-term goal is permanent health, fitness and longevity especially in the middle of the week. When we are half way through our fitness goals, we need to stay strong! Work really hard and make conscious decisions. Stay focused and remember your goals! If we are disciplined and have a strong mental metal to go through all the previous stages, we finally get some results and that is rewarding because ‘obstacles are placed in our way to see if what we want is really worth fighting for.’ Only if you achieve your health and fitness goals, the last stage of the fitness process, you will find out that the following quote are absolutely true: ‘I never regret a workout. I only regret a missed one and as long as we persevere and endure, we can get anything we want.‘ ~ Mike Tyson. The magnificence of it is that you can now have a successful formula which you can apply to every aspect of your life! Is that not a priceless gift worthy of  our efforts, dedication, hard work and endurance? Definitely, it is. :-)

 

The truth is that no matter what your fitness level may be, it is not always possible to be motivated. Mahatma Gandhi said “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” I am sure you agree with me that it is difficult to argue the truth of this statement, but it is also difficult to live by it as a reality. While it is often difficult to stick with fitness goals, people don’t realise the motivation is within them so don’t give up in front of any setbacks, if you fight them through, they will make you a stronger person, I can guarantee you from personal experience!

Remember that you have the power to change what you don’t like and to create your future!

I want to conclude this article with one very inspiring quote which keeps me going when I don’t feel motivated to exercise:

‘Get going. Move forward. Aim high. Plan takeoff. Don’t just sit on the runaway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won’t happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me. You’ll love it up here.’ :-)

In the last two articles, I have shared my 8 hot proven tips that I use to maintain or boost my levels of motivation. Just remember that ‘the way to success is to follow the work out motivation tips that work for you knowing that all the days that you wake up. You got one job, and that’s to get better every single day.’ ~ Derrick Rose

To conclude, I want to leave you with the most valuable tip I can give you as my gift for reading this article to the end: please don’t wait for someone/fitness coach to ask you to share your fitness experience. Don’t wait to research more about exercise, don’t wait to get started. I have experience all of this myself and I feel sadden and ashamed that I tried for so long to get healthy and fit without knowing what I was supposed to eat and what type of workouts/muscles I was supposed to exercise. I didn’t take action to learn and really wasted so much time and health! However I turned this negative situation into a positive one and used it to motivate me to work harder. So don’t worry how negative your past experiences have been, use it to push you to success this time around.

Why do you not make this Olympics season memorable and a milestone in your health and fitness journey?

Please don’t wait another day, start NOW to reap amazing results!

 

Thanks for allowing me to share your and my own health and fitness journey with you!

Now I am off for my run! Hope to see you on the road (of Health & Fitness)!

To your long-term increasing motivation which leads to your continued success!

Viv :-)