Tag Archives: Mindsets and Taking Action

Success Is Achieved By Getting Your Priorities In Check. What Are Your Priorities?

success-is-achieved-by-priorites

It might appear to be a very strange question, especially from a blog about making money online but I have my reasons for asking.

You see, I don’t think failure is always down to people NOT doing certain things but can also be because many people do OTHER things which prevent them succeeding in the very thing that they really want. For many of us – maybe most of us –  spare time and money is in short supply.

This doing of OTHER things can be the result of many habits or circumstances, such as not having a lot of funds but spending whatever spare cash they do have on doing everyday pleasures like eating takeaways or popping out for a few beers.

These things do give us pleasure but only for a few hours and we humans crave instant gratification often opting to have a quick pleasure now instead of the long term pleasure brought about from accomplishing a goal.

Sometimes we spend our spare time and money on things not because we want to but out of a habit, a craving for instant pleasure or even for other people’s pleasure such as a loved one.

As the old saying goes ‘time is money’’– and it is. Time is our most valuable asset and money is our most powerful tool, but if you are unable to spare much of either then your chances of success can be pretty low.

So to succeed you need to invest either your time or money or both but when you are an average person with a day job and a partner with short supply of time and money you can often find yourself stuck in what feels like a vacuum watching your spare time and money being sucked away from you.

Relationships are great, to spend your life with someone who cares about you and someone you care about can be very rewarding but it can also rob you off a lot of valuable time. Your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend obviously wants to spend time with you, this is understandable but they also want to spend time with their friends – with you, and they want to do things – often with you.

The things they want to do such as going out for meals, going on holidays, going out drinking and dancing, having days out to the seaside or shopping trips in big cities, going to the cinema or seeing shows or even just having a quiet night in with a film, a bottle of wine and a takeaway costs money. They also add up in hours.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you should suddenly become single and get rid of your loved one or your family nor am I saying that you cannot or should not enjoy time with them or enjoy doing things.

What I am saying is, and I speak from a lot of personal experiences, is to be aware of what you are doing, what you are spending your time and money on and what that could be doing to your chances of success.

I have noticed that over the years I have been to more ‘friends’ gatherings thanks to the better half than going to gigs or music events. I for one prefer the latter. I have had some great nights with friends but often I would find that I had spent money which – at that time – I could ill afford on food and drink at these gatherings.

Then when I saw a poster or promotion for a gig that I really would have loved to have gone to I didn’t because I chose to save what little money I had left for more important things. Which really sucked when you consider what I had managed to waste money on. Had I been single I would have chosen more of the latter.

The same thing is said for time, time is very precious and I am also guilty of wasting time watching pointless soaps and TV shows which have done nothing more for me than pass time. Much of it wasn’t even that enjoyable either! When I was single I very rarely watched the TV until I crawled into bed, I would wind down with a film or some comedy. Now I end up sitting and watching the TV while I chat to the family.

Now here is the thing, we often do things without thinking. I too have called at Starbucks or Costa Coffee for a quick drink now and then but I certainly won’t make a habit of it though. I know people who call in regularly, spend up to £30 a week on coffee and the odd cake or panini then complain that they have no money left for that gig or party that they fancy.

Correct me if I am wrong but spending money each week on things that you can get from home is wasting valuable money that you could be using for ‘other’ fun things. Especially if money and time is in short supply, why would you waste it on things that are just short temporary pleasures?

I use gigs and other fun things as the example to what we miss out on by being sucked into doing things we would rather not do but the time and money could be spent on doing things which could change your life for the better. You could be working on a business or a book, something that could drastically improve your lifestyle.

Not everyone has the same amount of resources and with all of us living different lifestyles no two lives are the same. I agree that we all have 24 hours in a day but I don’t buy into that ‘we all have the same amount of time’ line. We do all have 24 hours a day but circumstances and choices often dictate what time we are left with spare.

Even choices we have made in the past dictate our amount of spare time, and they cannot just be stopped or changed at the drop of a hat. If you chose to have children then you cannot just get rid of them to free up time.

So the next time someone tries to make you feel bad for not having much time and use the words ‘You chose to have children’ just ignore them for being a prat no matter if it is technically true. What you need to do is realise what time you are wasting on doing the things that you do not want to do – ignoring those that you have to do as part of your life or family responsibilities.

Earning money to put food on the table and the roof over your family’s heads is very important. Running your partner or children around to friends houses or doing stuff with them is very important.

But going to the pub to drink several glasses of beer or wine while you gossip or sit and watch families fall out in soap operas is not important. They are the things that you chose to do in the here and now and they are also things that can change now. If time and money is in short supply then you need to prioritise and become more selfish and ruthless with your time.

If you want to change your life, your job or your lifestyle and you need to build or grow a business, make more money or even write that bestselling novel you will need to spend the time and money on making it happen.
And if that means saying no to less nights out and less meals with your friends or your partner’s friends then so be it. What you are losing out on in the long run is probably far more than what you are gaining in the short term.

Have You Missed An Opportunity Due To Not Taking Action? Sorry To Drone On.

Have you ever had what you thought was a good idea but didn’t do anything about it?

Have you seen something similar years later and kicked yourself for not starting on that great idea?

The reason I ask is because this week I got talking about an old friend who is currently living in France bit-ing and bobbing for work. He is living in a small bedsit in the south of France. Apparently rental property is not cheap there and he can not afford anything bigger and more comfortable.

He is probably enjoying his life out in the sun but it could have been a lot different. He could have been running a very successful business or maybe even a YouTube channel. Several years ago we both lived in the same building. It was a block of apartments owned by a mutual friend of ours. We would regularly bump into each other in the car park and have a chat.

One day he asked me if I was interested in investing into a business idea he had and becoming part of the business. I already had too many commitments at that time and really could not spare any more time or funds on something else so I declined his kind offer.

The business idea he had involved drones, at the time I knew nothing about them, but he flew remote control planes and helicopters and drove remote control cars as a hobby so he was really clued up about them.

He told me how much they were to buy or build and how useful they would be for specific industries. His idea was to use drones fitted with high quality cameras like the Go Pro which transmitted live video to a laptop allowing him to study hard to reach areas of buildings and roofs without the need of ladders, scaffolding and safety equipment.

drone with gopro

He could then do surveys for property owners and building companies for a fee while reducing their workload, cost and responsibility. It sounded quite viable as a business but I was not sure about drones and how popular they would be. Several years later and drones are all over the place.

hidden britain by drone

They are very popular, there are drones being used on TV shows, drones are used to make popular and funny YouTube channels, drones are being used to deliver ice creams on the beach of Mablethorpe, Domino Pizzas and Amazon have tested drones for delivery services and there are now people racing drones in sporting competitions.

Drones are big business.

And guess what? I recently saw on TV a company using a drone to check out hard to reach areas of a building! It was a good business idea after all, it might have been a very profitable business.

Now before you ask; this is not about me, I have no regrets for turning down the offer. What I do want to talk about is my friend who had the idea in the first place. When he had the idea he was again bit-ing and bobbing for work. He was always skint and didn’t have any full time work. He could have really thrown himself into the new business venture… but he didn’t.

So why is he not doing this as a business?

Because I didn’t invest in the business!

One of the reasons I didn’t want to get involved is that I knew him well and he likes other people to bring the money to the table and do the work.

But he himself could have easily financed the business venture, he knew the cost of the drone, the camera and how to link it all together with the laptop. It might have been no more than £1000 to set up, especially with him being a dab hand with remote control airplanes, he could have hand built the ideal drone for a fraction of the price.

If he was short of the money he knew how much he needed and could have planned a way to start saving up for it. He could have saved the money over the period of a year and then started. It has now been several years and he has done nothing with that idea. He had the idea before drones became popular and commonplace.

Even if the business idea failed he could have done a photography business with the drone capturing great aerial shots or after spending time getting used to the drone he could have mastered it to a point that he could have been uploading great videos to YouTube making money via Google AdSense.

What is important to remember is that he had a great business idea, he had seen an opportunity before others and wanted to try it but, he didn’t because he personally failed to take action. Nothing was stopping him but himself. Even when I said no to joining him in his venture, it wasn’t the reason that he failed. He could have done it alone but he decided not to.

I cannot say where he would be now and how successful the business idea would have been but what I do know is that:

  1. Drones are being fitted with cameras and used a lot today to reach those hard to see places.
  2. Because he didn’t even make a start with the business we will just never know.

I wouldn’t be surprised though had he started the business that he would be living in a better apartment in the south of France and he wouldn’t be bit-ing and bobbing for a few Euros either.

The next time you have a big idea; maybe you should really consider taking action and turning that idea from a thought that is in your head into a real physical business or product. At least then you would know for definate whether it will be successful or not.

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The Creative Process Is The REAL Way to Wealth

One of the most fundamental things to success which is generally overlooked is the creative process. Or creativity in general really. The Independent recently reported that new government figures showed that the creative industries such as film, music, art and other creatives generate around £84 billion a year. That is a staggering £10 million an hour!

When you consider the success of JK Rowling with her Harry Potter stories you can see how this works. A lot of people are employed in the creative industries and that number is growing. Entertainment is big business, people love to be entertained. Whether it is reading books or ebooks including comics, watching films or TV shows, listening to music and going to gigs or going to events like the theatre or art exhibitions –– people love to do fun stuff.

I want to talk to about being creative and the creative process. I am not going to focus on the actual creative industries such as writing or making music as I have covered those before in great detail, today I am going to talk about the creative process for business and success.

The creative process is by far the most powerful and important part of any business. It it that process where all of the best ideas and solutions come from. It is also one of the things that is most overlooked.

What do I mean by that?

If I was to give advice to youngsters at a school I would use gang violence as the main example.

Gangsta Rappers & Knife Crime London

I grew up listening to a lot of early Hip Hop and Rap and so I would always be frustrated when I would see the news reporting another senseless death on the streets of our cities. London was having an epidemic of knife killings as the number of local gangs grew. Youngsters with so much potential and unused talents were killed because of stupidity and misunderstanding of basic principles – and rap music often got the blame.

knife crime

Youngsters were idolising Gangsta rappers from the US like 50 Cent and Dr Dre while watching violent gangster films made by Hollywood. Youngsters would ‘copy’ their lifestyles and what they saw in the films. (I know the gang issues are a lot more complicated than just copying rappers and also things like poverty and unemployment play a big part but stick with me here.)

dr dre and 50 cent

One sad story was a young lad was murdered in or near a chip shop for disrespecting a gang member, that disrespect was actually a snap response to constant bullying and disrespect from the gangs themselves. It was and probably still is getting out of hand.

Many youngsters are now locked away for years for killing people for one reason or another. Many of them will now spend most of their adult lives behind bars and when they are eventually released they will struggle in the new outside world because they missed so much of it. All because they didn’t think things through properly.

Some of these gang members responsible for serious violent crimes posted videos to YouTube showing themselves rapping in the style of their American Gansta rapping heroes. They were imitating and trying to act and behave like these rappers, they wanted the money, fame and the success that they had –– but here is where they got it so wrong.

Misunderstanding The Gangsta Rappers Success

The Gansta rappers of the US mainly spoke about how life used to be, the life they were trying to get away from. Occasionally they may have a beef with other rappers and say things like ‘what they may do’ but that was only as lyrics. What the youngsters were missing was that these rappers and DJs were spending their spare time avoiding trouble and practicing their craft.

They were engaging the creative process thinking up new lyrics, they were practicing their rapping skills, they were in the studio making music and creating beats, they were going to freestyle rap battles at clubs. They were not going out looking for trouble, they were trying to escaping that lifestyle. They were focused on the creative process. The process which took them to fame and fortune.

Dr Dre lost a brother to gang violence back in the early 80s and his mother tried her hardest to keep him away from the gangs. He turned to music; first being the DJ in the World Class Wreckin Cru then moving on to the legendary N.W.A. He is now one of the world’s wealthiest paid music producers with his name behind a range of speakers and headphones which was recently purchased by Apple for $3billion in cash and stocks.

World Class Wreckin Cru ft. Dr. Dre – Surgery

Dr Dre went from gangland Compton to becoming a billionaire rapper.

The reason many Gangsta rappers become successful is because of the music they make, the songs they record and the performances they do. The very same reason JK Rowling is a very wealthy author, they decided to use their creativity and focus on that alone.

It was never the gang lifestyle that made them successful. The time spent in gangs may have toughened them up and made them more determined to succeed but the actual gang banging would not have done them anygood. If they had continued in that lifestyle they would probably have ended up in prison or worse – dead.

That is why so many youngsters are in jail here in the UK for knife crimes because they focused on the gang lifestyle itself and not actually used their creativity. They simply did not think clearly or properly.

To idolise and copy your heroes is one thing but to do it wrongly is dangerous and for many youngsters they were so far off the mark it has ruined their lives.

The creative process is so important to business as this is where the good ideas come from. All businesses, films, books and pieces of music came from an idea generated by the creative process.

People Simply Don’t Think.

albert schwitzer

The late Nobel Prize winning Dr Albert Schweitzer was asked in an interview many many years ago, “Dr, what is wrong with men today?” After pausing for a while his answer was “men simply don’t think.” Now he wasn’t just being flippant, he was referring to proper creative thinking.

Mankind bumbles from one thing to another, preoccupied with daily dramas and gossips, their minds and mouths filled with complaints but they do not actually give themselves time to think. When people do stop and think they come up with ideas, ideas which lead to solutions or become solutions themselves.

Earl Nightingale suggests that people should spend sometime alone with a notepad and pen everyday for 30 days. It could be an hour or just half hour but during that time they should try and think up 5 new ideas. After 30 days of coming up with ideas a person would have 150 new ideas to work on. (Listen to what Earl Nightingale says in the video below. Highly Recommended!)

The Strangest Secret Earl Nightingale Conant

One of those ideas could be the way out of your debt, it could be the end to the rut you find yourself in, it could be the change to your life that you have wanted for many years. Ideas alone will not change your life without action but they are the ancestor to action. A single idea has the potential to change a person’s life forever.

jk rowling harry potter the elephant house coffee shop

When JK Rowling had her idea for Harry Potter she was a single mother on benefits. She used whatever spare time she had to write her first draft of the book, often she was seen sat writing in coffee shops across Edinburgh. Her life is now a lot different to what it was back then.

We all have ideas come to us, you can be sat on the sofa when a flash of inspiration hits you but how many of us write it down then explore the idea more with creative and analytic thinking? I have been sat in pubs with my friends who have spoken of their latest great idea but they have never given it anymore viable thought other than to tell us of their great idea!

The great thing about really thinking is that not only do you get great ideas, you often figure out a plan and how to go about things which makes the whole process of turning that idea into a reality a lot easier.

Having A Good Idea & Creating A Plan

Recently I have been writing a couple of fiction stories: I needed an idea so I sat and brainstormed a few. I soon had an idea for the story and the main character but I needed more. So I sat and started to think up the other characters, what happened in the story, how things happened and in what order (mostly).

Having this background prepared I was able to sit and start writing. I knew what to write and that made it flow a lot easier. Without that plan I would not have two connected short stories totalling 28000 words written which have been read and loved by several members of my family. (Family make the best proofreaders and critics 🙂 )

 

With our busy lives and constant distractions from TV, radio and social media it is no surprise that people do not think much these days. It has been said that we are now more reactional than proactive. People react to dramas and situations in a stressed and panicked way regularly –– as seen on TV soaps –– but never prepare for or plan their way out of possible future issues.

The life we live today is the result of our past performances.

If we are poor today that is because we have not earned enough money last month or worse, cultivated the skills and discipline to do the work that is necessary to bring in the money that we need.

If we are struggling to afford the bills this week then maybe we should have not spend so much last month or if spending money wasn’t the issue then we need to make more money and that will not happen if we spend the time burying our heads in the sand and allowing ourselves to become distracted.

Our minds are the best source of riches on the planet. As the writer Russell Conwell said, there is more wealth buried in our minds than in an acre of diamonds. (Or words to that effect!)

Maybe it is time for you to turn off the TV or the radio, put down the tablet and smartphone, close the laptop and pick up a notepad and pen. Maybe it is time to do some real creative thinking. Maybe it is time to come up with ideas, create plans and focus on them until they become your reality.

Remember; the two most powerful ingredients to success are thinking and action.

Thinking + Action = Success

Do You Fail Enough? Failing 49 Percent Of The Time Will Lead To Success

“If you do it right 51 percent of the time you will end up a hero.” – Alfred P. Sloan  long-time President, chairman and CEO of General Motors Corporation, Born May 23, 1875.

alfred p sloan

The idea behind this article is to show you how low the bar is really set for success, and many people say that with the popularity and ease of social media the bar is getting even lower.

It is pretty easy for people to be a success because it is agreed by many that success comes from persistence. If some of the world’s biggest names had not persisted when they failed the world would be a different place. Imagine a world without the Beatles, Harry Potter or the author James Patterson.

49 percent failure rate

These people were rejected and failed many times:

James Patterson: Who has sold over 300 million books had all of his short stories rejected, his first novel was turned down by 31 publishing houses but when it was eventually published it went on to win an award for the best new novel of that year. He is now a multimillionaire author who publishes dozens of new books each year.

JK Rowling: Was turned down by 8 publishing houses when she sent them the manuscript for Harry Potter, eventually one accepted it and published the book. Now look at her and the popularity of the Harry Potter franchise. She too is a multimillionaire and publishes other popular stories under a different pen name.

The Beatles: Were turned down by Decca Records executive Dick Rowe believing ‘guitar groups are on the way out’ saying that they were an ‘old sound’ and basically would not amount to anything… Who has not heard of the Beatles or a Beatles song?

I am sure that there is a remote tribe somewhere in the Amazon who might not know anything about the Beatles but for the rest of the Western world you would have had to been living under a rock to have not heard of them!

amazon tribe

The rest is history as they say but had they all given up early history would have a very different story.

What the above shows us is that they didn’t give up, they pushed on regardless where others would have quit and it paid off… big time.

When others told them that they or their product was no good they didn’t stop, they had to carry on regardless. Whether they were able to carry on because of discipline, or by desire, or by willpower, or by mental illness, or by being driven, or by being compelled – it doesn’t matter what it was, what matters is that they carried on regardless and became a success.

Taking James Patterson’s story of being rejected by 31 publishing houses; at what number would you have thrown the towel in and accepted that the literary world had spoken and declared that you were not good enough to be a writer?

Rejected 31 times and yet James Patterson is the most prolific writer today who is banking serious money from his failings as a writer. If he intended to send his book to 100 different publishing house – with 31 rejections he still had a further 18 rejections to go before success appeared, but it didn’t, it actually came sooner.

That figure of 31 which seems high to most people is actually well under the 49% fail rate.

Just keep doing what you are doing over and over again, and you cannot help but succeed.

EVEN IF YOU FAIL ALMOST HALF THE TIME YOU TRY YOU WILL EVENTUALLY SUCCEED

Richard Branson is a successful entrepreneur and I bet you can name several of the successful businesses that he started, but can you name any of those business ideas or decisions he made which failed? No of course you can’t because the nature of failing means that they are not usually seen or heard of.

richard branson

Success on the other hand means that by nature you or your business becomes popular and known. Richard Branson has himself failed many times and yet here he is today, a very wealthy and successful businessman and a huge inspiration.

Success Is A Law Of Nature

By nature we humans can only get better at doing something the more we do it, so when you fail 49% of the time eventually that fail rate will drop significantly… until you try something completely new and different, then you will be back at square one.

Martial Artists, sports people, and musicians will spend years practicing the same moves day in day out until they master it and become a success. Their daily practice routines can make weak and feeble minded people shudder in fear. They go ‘that extra mile,’ they go ‘over the razors edge,’ they fail ‘49% of the time’ until success appears.

To determine if you’re doing anything right at least 51% of the time, you should do it at least 100 times. You can happily fail 49 times and it will not affect you in a big way.

After you have done something 100 times evaluate how well you did. Chances are you will find that you did even better than 51%. As mentioned earlier, if you do something again and again, you cannot help but get better at it. It is basic human nature, our minds and bodies have evolved to do this. It’s pure biological adaptability.

The first article that you write will be awful when compared to your 100th article which was written 100 days after the first… there is no way that you can actually get worse. (Unless old age or a terrible natural condition has struck you down)

So let’s assume that you have a website and that it requires content: write 100 articles and share them on social media. Spread them as far and wide as you can. Let as many people know about your articles as possible, chances are some people will love some of your articles and love you. You will become, in the words of Alfred P. Sloan, ‘a hero’ to them.

Working on the idea that it takes 100 tries to have a big win, you have three chances for big wins each year if you do a little work each day. Plus a little extra success from the other 65 days.

Being the hero is the ultimate win and not only do you get three chances per year you can basically fail almost half of the time. Looking at it on paper, it really isn’t that hard but it does take something that most people do not have, or unwilling to cultivate if they do not naturally have it, and that is the ability to turn up at work each day, every day, over and over again when you are not getting results and constantly failing.

It can be very discouraging when things seem to constantly be failing with very little or no results but when you apply a magic number to success as we have here you can be more positive in your approach and accept the failures with a zen buddhist like calmness.

You can fail more than 10 times and still succeed if you keep at it, most people would have given up after 10 attempts but in reality you can fail 49 times and still become a success, you should not give up until you have tried enough times.

So the questions to ask yourself are these:

Are you failing enough?

Are you trying enough?

How many days in a row have you given your time to work towards your goals?

If it’s not at least 100 times before quitting then your chances of becoming successful is slim.

Are You Overindulging In The Wrong Things & Under Indulging In The Right Things?

It is that time again, where many people overindulge in things like food and drink and spend a lot of their time visiting friends and partying. There is nothing wrong with this in general but you do have to ask ‘why do we overindulge in the things that makes us feel bad and guilty?’ which is generally what happens.

My better half avoids foods with a lot of sugar and gluten because they make her ill, and I do mean ill, she is not following some diet fad or avoiding them because she thinks she will get fat or may feel a little icky, she does genuinely get ill and feel very bad with it.

Christmas time is a time where people tend to eat a lot of rich foods which have a lot of gluten and sugar in them and there is also a lot of alcohol drank at this time which is also sugar rich so as you can understand she cannot overindulge in that kind of food at this time of the year or any time of the year.

I myself avoid a lot of cheese, alcohol and sugar because it too makes me feel rough but fortunately I am not intolerant like my better half nor do I suffer anywhere as bad as she does but I personally do not enjoy feeling rough or sickly so why would I want to eat a lot of the foods which in truth gives me only a small moment in pleasure compared to the length of time I feel rough?

What is strange is that a lot of people do this over and over again, they use Christmas time as an excuse to do the bad things instead of the good things even though they will spend most of January talking about how ‘rough they feel’ and how much they ‘wish they hadn’t’.

When it comes to learning and developing new skills or building a business we often do the same especially at times like Christmas. Now I am not saying that you should not take time off or have a holiday but if you are looking to change your life which is dependant on you doing specific tasks to help you move forward or develop new skills then it is illogical to ruin your chances of success for nothing more than the fleeting pleasure gained from doing other things. Isn’t it?

I have seen businesses collapse due to the owners preferring to go for a beer or two with their friends and then complain about how they missed their business and how they wished they could give it a second go. I am not talking about people who are battling an addiction like alcoholism but people just choosing to go drinking and socialising over getting jobs done.

Again I am not saying that you cannot have fun and spend an evening socialising with friends now and then if that is what you want but I am saying why would you do it regularly when it is going to cause more harm than good in the long run?

Before I became a writer and content creator I used to work as a joiner working in joinery workshops and on site doing private work. When I was younger before I started to work for myself I was employed for a company and being young I wanted to go out drinking with my friends which I often did. Those boozy evenings would finish with a pizza for the walk home.

beer and pizza

I soon learned that if I drank too much I would have a terrible hangover and would find it hard to work, I also realised that I was mildly lactose intolerant and that the combination of beer and cheese would have a devastating affect on my stomach the following morning and so it was important that I was in the workshop or a building where I was very close to a toilet. Not an enjoyable situation I know.

I soon learned that I couldn’t work like that, I was running the risk of losing my job if I did not put in a proper day’s work and I couldn’t risk working with a dodgy belly if I was out on site and I certainly couldn’t work like that when I became self employed so I consciously chose not to drink a lot when it was a ‘school night’ as we call it or eat food that was good for me if I wasn’t sure where I was working the next day.

It has been years since I have worked with a hangover and I am happy to admit that, I know many people think it is funny and cool and wear such stories as a ‘badge of honour’ but I don’t or cannot. Only the other day there were a couple of friends reminiscing about past drunken adventures on Christmas eve when I popped out for a quick beer.

I will only allow myself to lose a day when I have a day spare with no plans, I cannot afford to lose a day through self indulgent eating, drinking or whatever it is. I am not talking about ‘afford to lose a day’ in a financial sense, I am referring to time.

Time is also another indulgence that can be destructive, iIf you wanted to become a successful copywriter and knew that being one could change your life and improve your financial situation then you would spend every spare moment you had learning and crafting your skills wouldn’t you?

So why is it then that most people who want to change their lives actually do the opposite? When they should be working, practicing or studying they end up going to friends houses, out for meals or to bars when they receive an invite.

The reason I wrote this article is that this time of the year is well known for over indulging and it inspired me to bring to attention some of the things people do that are harmful and damaging which oddly they never realise they are doing.

It isn’t until they take a step back and look at what they are doing, or if someone looking in from the outside tells them what they see, that they realise what they are doing that could be detrimental to their success and preventing them from improving their lifestyle.

It reminds me of the time I decided to give up sugar in my tea, I wanted to give it up but at the same time I would justify having sugar by thinking it was ‘only one spoonful, it’s not a lot really’. I spent a long time ‘wanting’ to give up sugar but never actually stopped then one day I decided to count up how many cups of tea I would have each day, I multiplied it by seven days and then I took a cup and a spoon and began to add sugar to the cup for each cup of tea I had that week until I was left with a cup completely full and overspilling with sugar.

I could then see how much extra sugar I was really having each week and it was a lot, my mind was blown and from that day I have not had a cup of tea with sugar since. I took a step back and looked at what I was doing with fresh eyes, I was able to see where I was going wrong, the damage I was causing and was motivated to make the changes I needed and wanted to make in order to stop having sugar in my tea.

So to bring this newsletter to a close just as the New Year begins I want to ask, are there things that you are overindulging in that could be damaging your success and are there any good things that you need to indulge in more to increase your chances of changing and improving your life?

Have a Happy New Year from us all at Tims Minions Blog and the Digital Academy 🙂

the digital academy

The Destructive Habit Of Taking Too Much On And Spreading Yourself Too Thinly

In this modern age we are led to believe that we should be constantly busy and that we should be doing several things at once. The old saying ‘you are a long time dead’ is often said by people trying to cram a lot of things into their lives but doing too much is actually very damaging to your potential success, your life and often your health.

This is something that I have done many times in the past and have been close to doing it again recently but I am trying to manage it by delaying some things that I need and want to get done until the New Year.

If I didn’t then the chances are that all of the things that I need or want to do will not be finished or at least finished in the best way possible. When you are doing too much you simply cannot give the proper focus and attention that each task/job requires and that just leads to them not being finished or as I mentioned earlier, they will be finished but they will not be to the standard that you hoped for or even planned.

(There is a true story towards the bottom of this post that highlights the dangers perfectly of taking on too much and spreading yourself thinly.)

Currently I am doing my Minions work, trying to learn hypnotherapy, doing several major DIY projects to my home, writing a couple of books and much more. As I am a qualified joiner have been asked by my parents to do some work at their home which would also involve some plastering and as my plasterer friends are so swamped with work lately I considered doing the plastering myself which would mean me having to learn how to plaster like a professional.

I checked out a few crash courses online and found that the nearest intensive plastering course is a four day course about an hours drive away. I even asked a friend if he would teach me and he agreed but I realised that I just could not do it right not, especially as Christmas is approaching fast.

I have had to shelve that idea for now and plan it for the New Year along with writing my books and learning the hypnotherapy which fortunately is an ongoing online course already paid for and I can come back to when I am ready.

If I carried on trying to do all the things now that I want to do then nothing would be completed, there would be unfinished jobs around the house (as I write this there are but I am working on them when I get the time… honest!) and my writing would suffer greatly because everytime I try and do half hour here or an hour there I get lost and cannot get into a real creative flow.

In fact I spend most of my precious ‘book writing’ time trying to remember what has happened and who did what and when as well as figuring out where I had last been editing.

I have a plan of how the story goes and pre wrote a basic backbone to the story and the main chapters and now I am going through the different sections ‘fattening’ them out with new dialogue and better structure so you can see it gets confusing when I haven’t written anything for a fortnight.

my writing

I have now moved the deadline for the book to the middle of next year and no longer work on it to free up time for other more important and pressing tasks.

Once those tasks are completed and have been ticked off then I shall start writing again, it has taken a lot of effort and conscious decision making to get myself to prioritise certain jobs and tasks over others and to then postpone those lesser priority tasks.

Why? Because I want and need to do them all and I want to accomplish them all now. Which is dangerous thinking.

The truth is though that I cannot do them all now, I was failing miserably and I only have myself to blame. As a writer I know full well that writers generally finish one book before they start another and very often lock themselves away from the world to really focus on that one job avoiding much of the everyday demands of life.

And so here I am trying to do many separate jobs along with all of the everyday demands of life and getting nowhere.This might sound pretty obvious to you, it is to me and yet I catch myself doing it every now and then and what is incredible is that loads of people do it and simply do not realise.

I come from a family where it was considered wrong to be single minded and obsessive about certain things but the truth is that kind of thinking is wrong… it is being single minded and obsessive about one or a few things that lead to them being finished quicker and at a higher quality too.

I am not talking about the manic obsessiveness that some people have which drives them to do dangerous and foolish things but a healthy obsession which drives you to finish something to the best of your ability and then, when it has been completed, you start another task and obsess about it until it is done.

Obviously life gets in the way and it is not always easy to focus on just the one task especially when you need to earn money, spend time with the family or doing things to improve the home and family life like the DIY projects that I have going on at the moment which are numerous but you can limit yourself to a smaller number of jobs and focus on them until they are done.

If you don’t then you have taken on too much and you are spreading yourself and your efforts out too thinly. The chances are that you will not get things finished, or if you do they will likely be substandard..

I want to finish off with a true story of someone I know who had the courage at an early age to buy an ex council depot, it was a huge property and he had a vision of turning it into his home, several flats and a couple of commercial properties. It was a big development that required a lot of borrowed money and it was a huge undertaking for someone in his early twenties.

After owning the property for nearly 18 years he was forced to sell it after he and his wife divorced. They were divorced because the development was not finished, living in it for nearly 16 years with a young child had put a big strain on the relationship. The property was still not finished when it was finally sold this year leaving him with a lot of large debts still.

For 18 years the developer jumped from one task to another, he would start a big job like adding a second floor to the first flat which originally was a single story building but once the windows and roof were fitted to the new storey he started another project such as knocking down the old workshop and building three new flats which needed further funding from the bank.

When the brickwork shell of those three new flats were built and the roof and windows were fitted he then started something else ‘big’ requiring more money . Occasionally he would drop onto those ‘previous’ jobs that he had started but as each week passed his list of jobs and tasks that he was working on grew.

The list of things to finish off was also growing and the list of things that were ‘not finished’ was not only growing it had not changed much over several years. Windows were made and fitted but were never painted for many years. Stairwells to flats were built but also never finished, the old dilapidated roof was replaced with a new one but the fascia boards and guttering were never fitted and had stayed like that for almost 18 years.

The time came when the property values dropped, the bank wanted its money back and the wife had had enough and decided to leave taking the daughter with him. His world crashed big time and he was left with no option but to put the property up for sale,

Sadly the development was bought by the ex wife’s brother, for a price that was half of what it could be worth finished, and within a few short months many of those ‘unfinished’ tasks were completed and the development was starting to look finished.

That is because they created a simple to do list, they prioritised what needed doing first, what they needed to spend money on and when and they needed to do it.

They only focused on those prioritised jobs until they were completed before moving onto other work. Unfortunately if my friend had done that from the beginning the development would have been finished 15 or so years ago and he would probably still would have been the owner and still married.

So it is with that sad but true story that I reiterate the dangers of taking on too much and spreading yourself too thinly because if you do, you are setting yourself up to not accomplish your goals and quite possibly lose a lot more than you expect.

Oh and by the way, the sad but true story does have a happy ending, he is now in a new relationship and they have had a child together and he is living a less stressful life and pretty happy. 🙂

You Get What You Do… Not What You Deserve

Everyone deserves something from life but the word deserve is often associated with ‘getting something for nothing’ such as finding ‘the one’ when it comes to love or finding a wealthy partner who will shower you with all of the things you want in life without having to work for them.

The above statements are some that I have borrowed from my better half’s friends who used to wind her up saying things like that when they got together for drinks and nibbles. They would talk about the things they wanted and that they ‘deserved’ them because… well I am not really sure why they thought they deserved them… maybe it was because they simply wanted those things.

They were good people and good people do deserve good things but in truth the things you ‘deserve’ will only come your way when you put some work in. You get what you do… not what you deserve.

Using the examples above, if a person wanted to find a wealthy partner to take care of them for life they would need to go to places and do things that are necessary to snare such a person.

To find a wealthy partner you would go to the places where they drink or hang out, you would join specific dating websites, dress in ways that they may like and maybe speak in a way that doesn’t turn them off.

OK… I know that people are different and that wealthy people do not all speak the same way or like the same things but there is a huge difference between a wealthy person and someone who choses not to earn money or own material possessions but you get what I am saying.

If you looked like you didn’t care about yourself and spoke like a ‘navvy’ as my gran would say then you would find it hard to attract the right people.

It is the same in EVERYTHING that you do, if you wanted to be a professional footballer you would practice hard and work at going to the right places where you can be ‘spotted’.

If you wanted to be an actor then you would spend your weekends and evenings going to drama classes and act in small production stage shows to learn your craft. You would turn up to all of the auditions and put yourself out there as did the local girl Sheridan Smith who has now become one of the UKs most popular actresses.

sheridan_smith

If you want to be a musician you would spend any spare money you had buying the equipment you needed to develop your craft. You would spend as much of your spare time practicing and making music as well as doing those all important first gigs which might be free to start with. It would be highly likely that you would take a job or maybe a second job which you did not like purely to help fund building up your skills and career.

If you were unemployed and looking for work or ways to make some money you would go round to the local businesses handing in your CV or you would print up leaflets and post them through people’s doors and put them up in local shops. You would go to the job centre regularly or look at the job adverts in papers or online everyday until you found something.

Then and only then do you ‘deserve’ what you get… because you made it happen.

Now this might seem obvious but to many people that fact is lost on them. I recently watched a TV show about people on benefits here in the UK and one of the people they followed was a man who wanted to be a successful actor and entertainer yet he was in his early twenties and never went to a drama club or class or practiced any form of acting.

He did nothing, he wanted the state to help him fund his career choices yet never once did he put himself out to ‘make things happen’. Now I am going to do something that I don’t like doing which is predict the success of an individual by looking in from the outside… I predict that he will never become an actor and I also predict that he will never change his life much from what it was now.

I hate predicting people’s future and success mainly because you cannot, even The Beatles and JK Rowling were told that they would not amount to anything as did countless others. History is littered with successful people who made it when they were told they would not…

Famous Failures

(Who Became Very Successful)

 

…but what differs these people from the example I use is that they actually did something and didn’t just wish it.

The guy on the television programme would not achieve success because he did nothing that would generate any form of success in anyway even if he strongly believed that he ‘deserved it’.

It is true, you get what you do and not what you deserve….  only when you do ‘certain things’ do you ‘deserve’ certain results. The word ‘deserve’ to me is closely connected to the word ‘reward’‘deserve’ means that after you have taken 1 and added it to 2 then you are rewarded with 3. You deserve to get the reward 3 because you took the time to get 1 and 2 and add them together. Simple!

You only deserve the rewards that you work towards, it doesn’t matter what the work is, what you do or how you go about things but if you do certain things that lead to attaining a desired and specific reward then you deserve it and probably will get it too.

Without the ‘doing’ your wants will just be ‘wishes’ and no matter how much you think you ‘deserve’ something, you will not get it if all you do is wish.

So if there is something that you want and think you deserve then you better start taking action and work towards it otherwise you are unlikely to get it!

While we are on the subject of ‘deserving’ and ‘wishing’ I recommend that you read this article here:

Think… And Stay Poor, Do… And Become Successful.

Think… And Stay Poor, Do… And Become Successful.

The most important factor in success is real action and not imagined action as many people will have you think. In the spiritual movement that is based on the theory of the law of attraction, coaches and gurus will tell you to think positive thoughts and that those positive thoughts will bring you positive results in your life.

This is only partially true… for example a positive person who thinks they can get all the girls he wants but never talks to or smiles at them will not get a date even if he spends every minute he is awake dreaming about talking to and dating girls.

The guy who is full of negative self doubt and thinks he is not dateable will not get a date if he too does not smile at or speak to women but if a man is full of negative self doubt, worry and thinks he cannot get a date but does go out of his way to smile and talk to women, he will eventually get a date. Even if his mental activity is in contradiction to his actions, his actions will reap rewards where his imagined action cannot.

As much as I love the law of attraction theory which states what you think about the most and what your mental state is mostly you will attract back into the physical world ie if you fear being poor you will constantly be poor…

or so the theory goes… I don’t fully believe that what you think alone attracts the similar situations into your life.

I remember watching a BBC documentary series studying some of the UK’s wealthiest business people and one guy who was a very rich magazine publisher said that his motivation for making millions was the fear of being poor. As a child he lived in poverty and he hated it, this fear of never having enough again was always with him… so why then was he a multi millionaire and not poor?

The reason is that instead of focusing on the fear and sitting around ‘thinking & imaging’ that he was getting out of poverty he took solid action, he took the steps that lead towards him going from a life of poverty to a life of great wealth.

Real applied action will always get the results that imagined action will not. We are told to close our eyes and see ourselves being wealthy and successful and that we should do this regularly to programme our minds to accept this as a possibility and a reality for us, which as a motivator is ok but it won’t make us successful. It cannot because it is just imagination, it can make us more relaxed, less stressed about stuff and motivated which is a great mindset for taking action but that is it.

It might start some cosmic wheels in motion and draw good things to us through the scientific law of vibration (law of attraction) but really it will not change our lives alone, we need to take action for that to happen. Let me explain like this:

I have written a lot of books and I do mean A LOT, A hell of a lot of books in fact. I have been writing fictional books and making up stories since I was a child covering topics like zombies, space adventures, alien invasions, terrorism and time travel but interestingly, the amount of books that people can actually read from my huge list of books is two.

both books

I have actually written into words only two fictional stories and they are only short stories. You can read them here if you are interested BernardCooper.com 🙂 (I am currently working on two more longer books)

In my mind I see the stories unfolding and I see the characters acting out as if I was watching a film on the TV yet they only remain in my mind. I can also see myself writing the books regularly and yet strangely books do not appear out of the ether until I physically start typing. It is this typing (real applied action) that creates the books that people can read which will start the process towards success.

I know that is obvious but what is important is that you remember ‘that very obvious part’.

Surprisingly most people do not think about it and carry on trying to ‘think & imagine’ themselves to success but that will never bring around success. Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

“The ancestor of every action is a thought”

A thought is the ancestor of action, without action a thought is just a thought…Without a thought there can be no action, without action no thought can become a success.

Thinking In A Montage

The other thing to remember with our incredible imagination is that the imagined world is not governed by time or the same laws of physics as the real world. In fact as I write this I can imagine myself writing a long book, I can see myself sat at my desk typing away knocking out page after page churning out thousands of words and I can see myself finishing off the book even before I finish this sentence.

I can also imagine that the laptop has suddenly become an old fashioned typewriter and that I pull the final page from it and lay it down ontop of a pile of hundreds of freshly written pages to my new book.

Our imaginations make long and hard work seem fast and easy, we can imagine a six month task into a five minute montage. It’s as if we dream in the style of a 1980s teen movie, everything we want to do can be condensed into a short montage and I think this is why people are seduced into the ‘thinking & imagination’ part of the law of attraction and overlook, by choice, the real hard work that success needs.

In fact let’s go one step further and really look into the imagination and the imagined word, while I write this article I am imagining myself…

…. wearing a Superman outfit, not the new dark one but the bright coloured camp one Christopher Reeves wore in the 1980s. I am hovering above my garden here in Gainsborough.

me as superman over garden

With a slight turn and a lifting of my legs I am now pointing towards Lincoln and I begin to fly. I am flying through the air towards Lincoln and my speed is increasing until I hit a comfortable 50 miles per hour. As I am going straight like a bird and not following traffic filled roads I reach Lincoln in a few minutes and it is not long before I am flying around the old Norman front of Lincoln cathedral.

me as superman over lincoln

It is a beautiful day, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and there are no clouds to be seen for miles. I decide to land on the roof of the cathedral and layout to enjoy the view overlooking all of Lincoln. I am feeling peckish and decide that this would make a great spot for a picnic and so I pull a lunch box and a flask from my red Superman trunks. (They were not there until now… isn’t imagination great?) I pour myself a cup of tea from the flask and pull out a beef sandwich from my lunch box to nibble on while I watch the hustle and bustle of the city below.

I am vegetarian and do not eat meat but this is no ordinary beef sandwich. This beef doesn’t come from a cow, I made it from a Star Trek style replicator. The replicator took all the elements like grass and water, and used some scientific alchemy magic just like nature does with a cow and mixed all the components turning them into beef. No cow is killed for this beef so it is good Karma beef and not bad Karma beef.

I invented and made this replicator when I was five years old using a cardboard box and some marker pens. I see myself drawing on buttons and dials and when I finish the cardboard box suddenly becomes a real meat making replicator…

replicator machine

What is interesting is that within five minutes I have travelled through thirty six years, become a child inventor using cardboard boxes and flown around Lincoln as Superman with sandwiches and a flask tucked away in my… well my lunchbox area and what is going to happen? Nothing as it was not real and it was just imagined.

But because I wrote it down you were able to read it and have a chuckle but the point is this, if you spend your time sitting and imagining your are a successful author, film director, business person or whatever it is you want to be, no matter what the ‘law of attraction‘ gurus tell you, you will not become a success until you take action.

You will not own that business if you do not stop dreaming it and start working at it, you will not become a published author if you do not stop dreaming it and start writing those books.

Would the world know about Harry Potter if J.K. Rowling just sat and ‘imagined’ the stories while drinking coffee in those now famous coffee shops in Edinburgh where she wrote the first book? Nope, the real step towards any success is ‘taking action’ no matter how small the step is you can only start to walk towards your chosen destination by taking steps.

the-secret-book-cover

Real action is the key and not ‘imagined action’ I apologise if I have written about what is an obvious point but most people do forget this important piece of the puzzle.

If you love Rhonda Burns ‘The Secret’ and are a fan of the ‘Law Of Attraction’ movement then think about this for a minute.

Imagine that you wanted to eat pizza in bed but you did not want to buy it or go and fetch it from a shop, instead you decided to sit in your bedroom and use your imagination and ‘manifest’ a pizza into your life.

pizza

You visualise yourself sitting and eating the pizza in your bedroom without questioning it, it is happening and you have complete faith that the pizza will be delivered to you.

So you put those vibrations out into the world and let us imagine that a close friend across town picked up on that message and thought… ‘You know what? it is nearly lunch time and I know [your name] loves pizza and they are at home today, I shall surprise them and have one delivered to their house’ and so that is what they do.

There you are sitting in your bedroom visualising eating that pizza when you hear someone knock at your door… a delivery driver is there standing at the door and in his hand is a box with a steaming hot pizza, not just any pizza but your favourite, the one you have been eating in your imagination.

How do you get that pizza into your bedroom so that you can eat it? You can spend another five minutes imaging that it is there in your bedroom but I doubt that the delivery driver is going to open your door, walk in with your pizza and bring it upstairs right to the room you are sat in.

You are going to have to get up and stop visualising and walk to answer the door, even if he did come into your house and called out for you you would need to shout to let him know whereabouts you are in the house. You have to do some work, you have to take action to receive the final part of the dream or whatever it is that you want from life.

You can image that you are a successful author or business person and you can have the great ideas that you need and you might ‘attract’  to you the right people and connections that you need but you are still going to have to take action to put the pieces together and get the results.

No inspired thought or idea will lead to a real physical success unless you take action, remember, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The ancestor of every action is a thought”  Without a thought there can be no action, without action no thought can become a success.