Developing Warrior Like Mental Toughness – 11 Easy Steps

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Success in any pursuit requires a mentally tough mind. You can have all the resources, but if your mind is a mess, you will fail. I’ve become obsessed with the mind and have tried everything to stack the odds in my favor.

I’ve spent four years training my brain every day to make it see what I want it to see. What do I want my brain to see and hopefully yours too? All the abundance, positivity, and happiness in this world. I want to have less negative thoughts and be driven by my higher self rather than by fear.

Army WorkoutNo longer do I want the traditional media outlets to poison my brain with their bad news dopamine hits. I’ve made a pact never to be defeated by any event in my life no matter how tragic or horrible it may seem. Deep down, you want the same thing as me, and that requires mental toughness.

It’s time to become like an ancient warrior. It’s time to build resilience that will help you get through even the coldest winter. It’s time to take the game of life to the next level and learn the hidden super power that is a warrior like mental toughness. Are you with me soldier?


***It’s all about discipline

Mental toughness boils down to one thing: discipline. You can make any change you want to your mindset and the way you think, with discipline. Discipline is about not letting the small stuff topple over your tower of happiness.

To have an abundance of mental toughness you have to make a decision. That decision is that you have to decide to be in control. That means not letting events control you but making sure that you decide what those events mean for yourself.

Discipline And SuccessApart from a decision, mental toughness is about practice. It’s about becoming conscious of your thoughts and then getting the best out of them.

“Fear is our default programming, so if we don’t use discipline to stay in control, then we will fall to the lowest common denominator: negative thoughts, fuelled by either anxiety or depression”

Discipline is about no longer settling for second best. It’s about choosing to the right decisions which you already intuitively know the answer to. You know you should work before play, eat healthy, exercise, do what you love, and treat people with love and kindness.

You know all of these things, yet you don’t do them when you lack discipline. The best way to always come from a state of discipline is to tie it to your purpose. You need to have a life quest that is more important than anything else in your life.

Then, when you have a decision to make that requires discipline, remind yourself of your purpose, and tell your brain that you will fail at your purpose if you are not disciplined. By linking the outcome of your purpose to discipline, you rewire your brain to make the best decisions for you. It gives you leverage over your brain to rig the game in your favor.

Here are the 11 easy steps to develop mental toughness:


1. Go one step further

Mental toughness can be developed by going one step further than you believe is possible. If you can currently do 10 chin-ups, try next time for eleven. If you currently drink two liters of water a day try two and a half tomorrow. If you are doing 8000 steps a day, try 8500 tomorrow.

The secret is to go one small step beyond what you mentally believe you can do. Each day, keep taking another small step, and before you know it, you’ll be progressing further towards your goals that you ever have before.

2. Convince yourself things will go wrong

If you need to prepare for a big goal or event, then you can become mentally tough by telling yourself right from the start that stuff will go wrong. Instead of hoping for everything to be perfect, hope for everything to be mostly good and know that at least one thing will go wrong.

Perfection is a quick way to destroy your mental toughness because nothing is ever exactly how we want it to be. Perfection is how we sabotage our success and veer off track from our goals. Expect a bit of failure in everything you do and then if you get none, you’ll be even happier with yourself.

3. Sleep on negative emotions

So everything goes to hell and hits the fan. That’s cool. As the negative emotions build up in your mind, tell yourself you are going to let them all out except with one catch: sleep on them and commit to doing it tomorrow.

This little hack allows you to become mentally tough because it delays your negative emotional reaction to any circumstance in your life. Rather than getting caught up in the moment, you delay reacting till later. Chances are, if you’re like me, by the time you wake up the next day, the impact of those negative emotions has subsided.

4. Always see Mr. Brightside

Mental Toughness 460x345When tragedy strikes (and it will), commit to finding at least one thing that’s good about it. Before spending even a second on the negative side, I want you to find at least one positive thought about the situation. It can be as small as you like as long as it’s positive.

By starting with the positive, you develop the mental toughness to find our friend Mr. Brightside in everything that happens. Prioritize positive thoughts, and do your best to make negative thoughts secondary in terms of priority. You won’t always win at this game, but that’s okay. We’re not looking for perfection remember?


5. Focus on a goal, not a dream

One of the attributes of mental toughness is focus. It’s diverting all your mental energy towards one thing and being tough enough not to give up. What I learned from Tim Ferris’s podcast is that if you want to be mentally tough at something, you must make this task a goal, not a dream.

A goal is clearly articulated, has planning involved, comes with a deadline, and typically has some accountability from someone other than you. A dream is a nice to have, but it’s much vaguer. The brain needs things to be told to it in a clear manner and for it to be very specific in order to enable your mental toughness, focus your thoughts, and force you never to give up and execute on your plan.


6. Are you okay with pain?

You can’t be mentally tough without experiencing pain full stop. Pain is guaranteed if you want to be mentally tough; whether you suffer from that pain is your choice. If you’re going to stay in your womb of a comfort zone and refuse to have any pain, then pal, you’re not going to be mentally tough, successful, wealthy and probably happy either. Being mentally tough is your choice!


7. Break the comfort zone regularly

Wisdome Of A WarriorI live in freezing cold Melbourne, Australia. There’s nothing better than having a nice warm shower every morning to wake me up and make me feel comfortable. WRONG!

To develop my mental toughness I’ve decided to start taking cold showers. That’s right, I blast myself with freezing cold water every day to program my mind to be uncomfortable at least once a day. Slowly but surely, my mind and my body are starting to get used to the discomfort.

It’s these small habits of discomfort that give you the warrior-like way of thinking that can help you succeed in even the most impossible endeavors.


8. The brain only has no much fuel

What sabotages our mental toughness is our brains mental energy. Just like a car, we only have so much fuel before we’re running on empty. The quickest way to lose your mental toughness is to waste your brains fuel on problems that you can’t solve, or negative thoughts that don’t serve you.

Negative thoughts consume twice the brain fuel and give you zero progress towards your goals. Every time you react to a situation, you’re also wasting mental fuel. If that situation doesn’t serve you (like beeping your horn at a motorist), then do what is hard at the start and become more disciplined.

Use your mental energy to inspire you and propel you forward. You’re not stupid, and you know what thoughts serve you, and what thoughts do not. If you find yourself always drowning in negative thoughts and running on empty then maybe it’s the people around you.

Recalibrate your mind, refuel your mind, and practice some personal development. Feed your mind through books and seminars. Give your mind the nutrients it needs through fresh fruit and vegetables or my favorite, a green juice.


9. Prepare the mind

Practicing your craft allows you to be mentally tough in the moment. When you’ve done the same thing over and over, you’re less likely to fail (this is so obvious I shouldn’t even have to say it). When I’m preparing for a speech, I read it dozens of times. By the time speech day comes, I feel mentally tough because my mind is prepared and knows what it has to do.

The mind becomes weak when it’s required to perform at an extraordinary level and has never had to endure this type of struggle before. Think of it like this: you’d build the muscle first before you entered a weightlifting competition wouldn’t you? The mind is no different.


10. Limit distractions

The quickest way to lose your mental toughness is to become at the mercy of distractions. I’m talking about technology. You can’t be mentally tough when your phone keeps ringing, buzzing, or flashing. Turn the freaking social media notifications off, and sit down and work on your craft in a focused, mindful, silence.


11. Believe you can win

Mentally tough champions think slightly different; they show up to any competition or task with the belief that they can win. You can have all the positive thoughts in the world, but if you don’t believe you have it in you to win, then you’re going to flunk out of the race.

“Believing you can win is more crucial than how you perform on the day”

It’s your mentally strong mind that can push through the inevitable pain to get you where you want to go. If every other part of you is prepared to achieve the impossible and your mind isn’t, again, you will fail at your goal.

How do you practice becoming mentally tough? Let me know on my website or my Facebook.

By |February 28th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

Feeling Overwhelmed? 14 Ways To Simplify Your Life

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Life moves fast, doesn’t it? It often feels like you’re trying to keep two dozen plates spinning at the same time.

Heaven forbid one of those plates start to wobble. You know, when you have to flat out run to reach it in time before it topples to the floor, taking the next plate and the entire row with it.

Life can sometimes feel like you’re constantly babysitting those darn plates when all you really want to do is experience what’s beyond them. You don’t want to live your life fighting fires and preventing mini-catastrophes on a near daily basis.

How would your life change if you had less plates spinning? It would take the pressure off, right?

See, everything you’re doing right now in your life is a plate that you’re spinning. If you’re feeling burnt out, frustrated and overwhelmed it’s time to simplify, or to keep with our analogy, remove some plates.

Here are fourteen ways to simplify your life.

Assess your commitments

Aside from non-negotiable commitments like work, school, and medical appointments, can you confidently list all the other commitments that are adding to your overall stress?

If you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day and you’re overwhelmed with all those places you have to go and all those people you have to see, consider reducing how many activities you commit yourself to.

This could mean reducing how many clubs you attend, reducing any volunteering activities, and could even mean setting tighter boundaries with that high maintenance friend or co-worker. We all know one of these people and it can be all too easy to get into a situation where you find yourself at the receiving end of their constant demands.

Have a social media fast

How many social media platforms are you signed up to? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? More? It can be overwhelming trying to keep up with all of them at the same time. You can find yourself scrolling through news feed after news feed and before you know it, a couple of hours have passed.

If you’re like a lot of other people, you have your phone close to you when you sleep and browsing social media is the last thing you do at night and the first thing you access when you wake up.

I challenge you to fast from social media for a full 24 hour period. You’ll be wondering what to do with yourself. This is a perfect opportunity to do something for yourself.

If you can’t stomach a 24-hour social media fast, consider putting your phone on the other side of your bedroom so you don’t feel tempted to stay awake scrolling.

List your three most important things

Write down three things that are most important to you in your life. Now use these to guide future decisions. If you’re engaging in activities and people that don’t support these three outcomes, it might be worth re-considering your commitment.

Schedule non-negotiable appointments

Do you keep your up and coming appointments in your head? That causes unnecessary stress. Keep things simple by pre-scheduling your annual medical appointments and other up and coming events on a calendar. You can use something physical like a diary or your phone. I use Google Calendar. It’s free and easy to use.

Just say no!

say no

This can be uncomfortable for some people but if you don’t get into the practice of saying no more often, people will continue to take chunks out of your time.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Reduce media consumption

We are bombarded all day with the latest news, breaking news, shock-horror, and general negativity. It can feel extremely overwhelming to be at the receiving end of a seemingly never ending stream of doom and gloom. You can remedy this by reducing your intake of mainstream news either from the television, newspapers, radio, or the internet.

Purge toxic relationships

We all know people who are difficult to be around. People who are chaotic, negative and demanding on your energy supply. If you want to simplify your life, it’s best to distance yourself from these types of people by setting personal boundaries.

Often, this is ill received because these people take it as a criticism of character and feed off drama. It’s best to either distance yourself or let go completely.

Get rid of your ‘stuff’

Have you ever felt you just have too much ‘stuff’? That pile of books stood in the corner of your living room, those impulsive eBay buys, that pile of clothes that won’t fit inside your already fit-to-burst wardrobe? You might not realise it but clutter like this is ‘visually noisy’ and causes subconscious stress.

Make a list of items that you really don’t want or need and either sell them, bin them, or donate them. You’ll really appreciate your new, fresh environment.

De-clutter your digital space

How does it feel when you check your email and see 3,406 emails in your inbox? Whilst a lot of it is spam, you know there are conversations in there from 18 months ago that are no longer relevant.

You probably have apps on your phone or tablet device that you haven’t used in a long while as well. De-clutter your devices of unused apps, old messages and don’t be shy about deleting things if you aren’t sure. Ask yourself if you really want to keep something. If it’s not an ‘absolutely!’ straight away, it needs to go.

Scrutinize your finances

This is a great exercise to be leaner with your spending. Simply take your latest bank statement and skim through it to find any subscriptions or recurring payments. If you haven’t used the service in a while or don’t really want it any more, then cancel. Use the money for something meaningful.

Limit time spent communicating

If you’re like I used to be, you read emails as soon as they hit your phone. You stop whatever it is you’re doing and read them, right? That’s a massive productivity killer and leads to a feeling of frustration that can be overwhelming.

The solution is to check your emails twice a day. Once in the morning and one in the afternoon. That’s it. If you really can’t wait that long, you can check them at lunch time.

Start walking in nature

I don’t know of a better way to de-stress than a good walk in nature, phone on silent, and technology unplugged. It’s a great way to be mindful as you hear the sounds of nature like the brushing of the leaves and the chatter of the birds. You’ll feel calmer, lighter and re-charged.

Start a meditation practice

practice meditation

Setting aside just 10 minutes every day, either in the morning or in the evening, is a wonderful way to bring calm and clarity into your life. If you plan on implementing a social media fast, this is a perfect time to start.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Ask yourself this question

“Is this going to simplify my life or make it more overwhelming?”

Asking yourself this question can guide you in the right direction when you find yourself faced with a set of decisions. Follow your gut feeling on this, too, It’s rarely wrong!

Feeling overwhelmed is downright miserable.

It sucks when you have more going on that you can handle.

You don’t want a life like this. You want to feel in control so you can make progress and feel fulfilled.

My challenge to you: Choose one of the tips above and implement it today. Then tomorrow pick another one. See how different you feel after a week of taking consistent action toward simplifying your life.

Let’s see how many spinning plates you can remove from your hectic life!

Starting from today!

I know you can do it.

You’ve got this!


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The First Steps Toward Creating a Life You Love

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“My goal is to build a life I don’t need a vacation from.” ~Rob Hill Sr.

The other day I had an interesting conversation with a friend, who asked me the question “Who is the happiest person you know?”

Ask yourself this question now. It’s difficult to answer, isn’t it?

There are certainly people around me who seem to be happy, but the happiest person I know? I couldn’t easily come up with an answer.

The conversation with my friend proceeded with him saying, “You seem happy, but it’s so easy for you; you live in Cornwall by the sea, you work for yourself, and you have all the freedom in the world because you’re single.”

It made me smile to think about how people perceive others’ lives. If you ask the next person they might say the absolute opposite: “It must be hard for you living so far away from anything, starting a heart-centered business from scratch with nothing. You must be so lonely being single and doing it all on your own.”

And the truth is, all the above is true. I feel each and every variation of the above on occasions because I’m human! I think and dream just like a regular employed person, I love just like a married person, and feel and breathe just like a city dweller. We are all the same.

But the conversation made me reflect on my own happiness. What does it mean to be happy? I feel the happiest I’ve ever been right now, whether I look at my life with glass-half-full or half-empty eyes. I asked myself why, and the only answer I could think of is, right now I feel authentic.

I wake up each morning and my work feels like a joyful adventure, so I don’t have to drag myself through days, questioning the point of what I’m doing.

Feeling complete deep down for the first time in my life soothes the loneliness of not being in a loving partnership right now, and walking the beach with my dog every morning watching the sunrise, instead of being on a packed London commuter train, makes my heart burst with happiness.

This isn’t a recipe for happiness in any shape or form. These are just my things. My choices leading to the life I am creating for myself, from a place of authenticity.

I have started to understand and accept that my life is up to me—my choices, my creation. The life I am living right now resulted from the choices I made before now, and yet they are no longer important; only the choices I make right now are. Right now I am free from the past but have a choice in creating my future.

So often we look outward and feel trapped by things that aren’t real. For me it was my past, my CV, other peoples’ perceptions, my own fears, and those pesky little shoulds, from myself and others. Or we think that we’re slaves to the choices we made in the past. But the beauty of life is you always have a choice.

I understand that some things in life we literally can’t change—maybe you’re a parent or caregiver or have other responsibilities that limit you—but you still have a choice.

You can choose to resist and focus on the negative, the struggle, or you can choose to see differently, create opportunities for change, and ask for help. No matter what your life looks like right now, you can still create a life you love.

I believe that everyone can dig deep to find out what feels right for them, be honest with themselves and others, and align their life with that place of authenticity.

Perhaps you’re wondering, how an earth do I go about creating an authentic life? Where do I start? Well, this is obviously vastly different for everyone, but my advice would be to just start somewhere, and what better place than where you are right now?

By that, I mean start by looking within.

A simple daily meditation practice has changed my life, and I truly believe it can help anyone.

Meditation, for me, is about carving out a few moments each day to sit quietly, breathe, connect with myself, and recognize my part to play in a bigger whole.

Even if it’s just a few moments after I wake up or before I hop into bed at night, this is time free from distraction, free from the roles and responsibilities I identify myself with, free from the complications in life that I might identify as stress. It’s time for just me, to connect with myself and my truth.

Creating a life you love is really about aligning your life with your own core values—those things that are most important to you personally. Regular meditation will help you discover what those are.

It might also help to think about the activities you loved doing as a child and find some time to do one of those things one day soon. Express yourself and be creative—journal, draw, sing. Join an activity group, take a class, volunteer, be of service. Move your body with exercise or yoga.

The point is to listen to yourself and take action on what you discover. Connect with how you really feel and use that as your guide when making choices so you can create a life you truly love.

If you do this, you may eventually realize, as I did, that it doesn’t matter one teeny, tiny bit who the happiest person you know is; all that matters is that you’re happy with yourself and the life you’re living.

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About Joanna Hulin

Joey is owner of Horizon Retreats, a UK-based company offering everyday hardworking people space to slow down and reconnect through Introduction to Meditation classes, events, wellbeing retreats, and her blog.

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

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Human Minds Have Limitations In Reasoning, What You Believe Is Right Likely Is Wrong

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How often do you ride on a car? Even if you don’t have your own car, you must have seen one. I want to start this piece with a small challenge for you. Using only your memory, recall it in your mind a car you often see.

Okay, I see the wheels, the window, and the overall car frame. Does it look anything like this?

Oh but wait, what about the headlights and tail lights? Where’s the handle for opening the doors? And where’re the mirrors?

Why would we miss so many of those things? Don’t we all have a clear idea what a car is like?

We believe that we know way more than we actually do.

Yes we do. In a study conducted at Yale[1], graduate students were asked about their understanding in everyday devices like toilets. Most thought that they were familiar with the device, only after they were asked to explain step-by-step how the device works did they find out how ignorant they were. Toilets are more complicated than they look.

We believe that we know way more than we do because most of the time, we only need to rely on others’ expertise to operate something. Take the bicycle and toilets as examples, we don’t really need to figure out how the whole thing works in order to operate them. As written by the authors of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone,[2]

“One implication of the naturalness with which we divide cognitive labor is that there’s “no sharp boundary between one person’s ideas and knowledge, and those of other members of the group”

Very often, our knowledge and beliefs are actually someone elses’ without us even realizing it. Maybe you’ve already started to be more aware of this fact especially when the social media has such a great impact on our daily lives these days.

When deep understanding is not always required, biases arise.

The tendency that people embrace only information that supports their own beliefs is commonly known as “confirmation bias”, and it is dangerous. When we believe what we think is always right, our faulty thinking will harm the truth and disrupt our growth.

Did everyone really understand the political situations in the US before they voiced out their opinions? And it’s pretty obvious that not everyone in the UK understood the whole Brexit thing before they voted for it, right? These are just some of the many examples of how others’ beliefs and knowledge got easily spread over the internet and people just picked up those thoughts without further understanding the truth.

Business journalists often suffer from the confirmation bias. In the books The Art of Thinking Clearly[3], there’s an example about a statement “Google is so successful because the company nurtures a culture of creativity”, and how once this idea goes on paper, journalists only need to support the statement by mentioning other same successful companies without seeking disconfirming evidence. No more different perspectives, people will always see just one tip of the iceberg.

When winning becomes more important than reasoning, chaos come.

On the other hand, when presented with someone else’s argument, we tend to be more skeptical; and there comes the term “myside bias”.

In an experiment performed by a cognitive scientist Hugo Mercier,[4] participants had to answer some questions, and later they were presented their own answers but were made to believe those were others’ answers. They became a lot more critical about the answers than when they were simply asked to modify their answers to be better.

In some situations, when winning seems to be more beneficial, reasoning clearly becomes unimportant to most of us. And this makes us more blinded than ever to spot out our own weaknesses.

To think more clearly, “murder your darlings”.

“Murder your darlings” is the literary critic Arthur Quiller-Couch’s advice[5] for writers who are reluctant to cut their cherished redundant sentences in their works. We can apply this concept to how we think too.

To fight against biases, let go of your “cherished thoughts” that you have to be right, and set out to find disconfirming evidence of all your beliefs — whether they be relationships, political views or career objectives. The stronger you believe in something, the more you should seek out alternative views of it.

The rule of three

An even more effective way to overcome bias is using the rule of three[6] — identify three potential causes of an outcome. In fact, the more possibilities you can come up with, the less biased you’d be towards any single outcome.

Say next time, if you see an outcome that isn’t what you expect at work, instead of thinking it must be that irresponsible and careless guy who messed up the stuff, try to think of three potential causes: Maybe there’re instructions missing at the beginning? Maybe the guy already did his job but something went wrong afterwards? Maybe it’s something external that affected the outcome of this?

Thinking through alternative possibilities help unravel the unnecessary attachments we have to the “cherished” thoughts, so we can have a more complete picture of how things are. When you learn to “murder your darlings” and embrace different views, your horizon will be widened and you’ll see a limitless world.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via


[1] Steven Sloman, a professor at Brown & Philip Fernbach, a professor at the University of Colorado, The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone
[2] Steven Sloman, a professor at Brown & Philip Fernbach, a professor at the University of Colorado, The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone
[3] Role Dobelli: The Art of Thinking Clearly
[4] Cognitive scientists Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber: The Enigma of Reason (Harvard)
[5] Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch: On the Art of Writing
[6] Benjamin L. Luippold, Ph.D.; Stephen Perreault, CPA, Ph.D.; and James Wainberg, Ph.D.: Overcome Confirmation Bias
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Conscious Breathing: A Simple Way to Work Through Emotional Pain and Be Present in Your Life

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“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I never gave much thought to my breath unless I was submerged under water for long periods without any.

Today I rely on it for more than the obvious function of keeping me alive.

Breathing has become my biggest tool and best friend.

It has become a foundation for living with conscious presence and awareness.

Breathing consciously has helped me overcome anxiety and has provided a gateway into peace.

The breath has helped me move through long buried emotions and trauma.

When I try to exert control over outside conditions, my mind speeds up, I feel anxious and fearful, and I create false scenarios of doom and destruction.

My biggest savior to this downward spiral has been breathing. Lying down, putting on some music, and beginning to breathe. Breathing in and out of my mouth. Taking in as much oxygen as possible, with no gaps between the inhalation and the exhalation.

In the past, I have resorted to other means of dealing with this anxiety of my mind. Alcohol, drugs, and excessive exercising were some of my favorites.

Today I have given all these other methods up, as they didn’t really work.

What are some of the methods you use to quiet the mind? Do they serve you? Do they actually help or make things worse?

In the past I was running away from feelings, trying to avoid the internal chaos.

Breathing helps me move through the feelings and chaos.

It sounds so simple, and it is.

Through breath work my life has transformed.

I used to be ready to defend myself at any moment. Really.

Inside my body, I felt surges of adrenalin, as if an attacker was about to kill me. I was always on high alert, ready to pounce into action.

The excessive exercise kept this adrenalin rolling at high levels all the time. I was addicted to it and almost felt like I needed it to survive.

Eighteen months ago I began conscious connected breath work. From my very first session I was hooked. This was better than drugs.

As a result of my breathing, all of my unconscious buried cellular emotion started to surface. Unpleasant blacked out memories from childhood, traumatic experiences—they all came rushing back.

It became very clear then what I had been running from. I didn’t want to face those painful feelings.

I made a commitment to myself, however, that I would continue to show up. I dropped the story. I dropped any goal of “fixing” myself and just let go.

I decided I would be willing to lie down for an hour and breathe. Whatever happened from there was what needed to happen. I dropped the “poor me” drama that this horrible trauma had happened to me and instead, I felt it.

The terror, the anger, and the pain became my companions. Welcoming them in with open arms, I breathed through them—and they passed.

I stopped, turned around, looked straight at these feelings, and took my power back.

Today, I am not on the run any more. My body doesn’t shake like it used to, and my legs aren’t constantly twitching up and down.

I can sit still.

I know now that when my mind starts to create drama, I can lie down and breathe.

The clarity comes, the peace comes, and the feelings pass. I allow them, without trying to make them be any different.

Is there something you are on the run from? Childhood abuse? A traumatic incident? Relationship heartbreak? What would happen if you faced it?

What if the resistance to facing and feeling what you are avoiding is actually worse than going through it?

What if under the mental obsession is fear, and under the fear is freedom?

The obsessions of the mind are not real.

They are fantasies created to take up mental space. Like watching a soap opera on TV, it takes us out of reality. It is a distraction.

What if you decided to turn off the TV in your mind that is creating false dramas to keep it entertained and distracted?

What would be in the space without the constant stream of mental soap operas?

What I have found in this space is presence, peace, and grace. The feeling that everything is okay right here and now.

Right here and now is all there is.

I live in Bali and have an early morning 4:00am routine that consists of making a cup of coffee, writing, breathing, meditating, and praying. I honor the ancestors, then I drive on my motorbike to yoga and practice being present in the moment as I drive.

Breathing with awareness helps me to be here now. It snaps me back into the moment.

I notice and watch the sunrise.

The early morning Balinese action is all happening on my way to yoga. The women making their offerings on the street, the children on their way to school, the dogs and chickens in the road, the men on their way to work in the rice paddies, and the local market buzzing with action—I take all this in as I drive.

These moments matter. This is what I love about my life here in Bali. The everyday moments of life as they unfold.

When in the present, gratitude erupts. Smiling inside, I feel whole, complete, and nothing else really matters.

Breathing on my scooter, on a bus, while waiting in a line, I take five conscience breaths. Sometimes I count to five on the inhalation and count to five on the exhalation.

This breathing practice comes with me everywhere I go.

We all have the gift of breath. Use it. Become conscious of it.

Turn off the mental TV and see what is truly there: A stunning sunset. Colourful flowers. Birds soaring. A happy child smiling.

These moments are like snapshots that will never again be repeated. Missing these moments is missing life.

Today we have a conscious choice to wake up out of the fog, to wipe off the lenses, and see through the haze.

The breath is our anchor. Use it to connect, to breathe through feelings without having to change them.

Breathe into the emotions that scare you and allow them to come. Welcome them with open arms, and they will pass.

The only way out is through, opening the doorway to presence and freedom.

Breathing is our ticket in to the present, our passage through the buried trauma of the past, and our vehicle to process difficult emotions.

Conscious breathing is a life changer, accessible to all, and you can begin right now.

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About Polly Green

Polly is a psychic medium, breath worker, award winning documentary filmmaker, athlete, and adventurer. She facilitates light workers, therapists, and wellness professionals to integrate their blockages, raise their vibration, connect clearly to source energy, and uncover and develop their latent psychic potential. For more information about Polly’s psychic and breathwork visit Her filmmaking:

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

The post Conscious Breathing: A Simple Way to Work Through Emotional Pain and Be Present in Your Life appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

By |February 28th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

When You’re Hooked On an Abusive Partner and Scared to Walk Away

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“We set the standard for how we want to be treated. Our relationships are a reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves.” ~Iyanla Vanzant

I’ll be honest. I knew my ex was a screwed-up guy. My head told me that not long after we met. The alarm bells were screeching. Could I hear them? Of course! Did I listen to them? No. My heart told my head to sod off and I agreed.

Here was a charismatic, gorgeous man focusing all his attention on me. I was the only one in his universe. Fireworks that would rival Sydney’s New Year’s Eve were going off. The sexual chemistry was intense. He was the best drug ever.

The high of being with him was intoxicating. Nervous butterflies were on a rampage in my stomach, which did a bit of a flip every time I saw him. And that’s how I knew he was the one. Yeah, right.

Like most Narcs, it took a while for his darker side to kick in. But when it did I was already way too hooked on him; I needed more. So, I ignored all the warning signs. The ones that were there in front of my face, with bells on.

When Mr. or Mrs. Charisma has hooked you in, they have you. Then their dark side starts to come out. They start to become a bit moody. To pick a fight, usually over something “you’ve done.” So, you start to change your behavior in anticipation.

If his anger was over something you wore, you change your wardrobe to clothes less “slutty.” If she doesn’t like your friends, you stop seeing them. But no matter what you try, nothing works. The goal posts just get moved. They find another reason to blame you for their anger.

Abusive people have all the answers as to why they treat you poorly. Past girlfriends or boyfriends have betrayed them. They’ve had a difficult childhood; bad luck has let them down. So, you believe them and keep ignoring the warning signs.

To you, this is still that gorgeous person who swept you off your feet. You can still see the good beneath the dark side. You think: all they need is someone like you to take care of them, to bring that charming side back to the fore. And that makes you feel needed, secure.  

But then the abuse gets worse. When they go into a rage now, they may storm out and disappear for days. They may even show the first signs of physical abuse. A push or a shove. Something that shocks you, as it comes out of the blue. (Something they’ll later dismiss as not being violence).

But the thought of breaking up and never seeing them again terrifies you even more than how they’re treating you. Hooked in as you were by the drug of when they basked you in their sunshine, you can’t or don’t want to see the real person they are. You ignored the early warning signs, now you deny the reality. It’s true what they say. Love can be blind.

When their rage has calmed down and they reappear, you’re relieved to see them again. It helps that the remorse they now show is equal to the severity of their latest abuse. They say how sorry they are. They sob in your arms. They’re “ashamed” of what they’ve done. They’ll “never do it again.” Blah, blah, blah.

They admit that they need you more than ever to help them change. And of course, this is music to your ears. But this honeymoon period never lasts. The verbal and / or physical abuse, followed by remorse, repeats itself. Over and over, in a cycle.

This cycle of violence (emotional and/or physical) is a toxic turning of unpredictable highs and lows. With each spin, it breaks you down. Any shred of self-esteem you have starts to erode.    

You feel worthless and almost deserving of their anger. You start to believe it when they say you’re to blame for it. But you somehow rationalize it all by thinking that all they need is you to fix them to make the abuse go away. All you need to do is to love them more.

You don’t realize it, but loving them has become an addiction for you. You’re addicted to an unavailable person—someone who is not there for you and who doesn’t care for you. They may even be more focused on their own addiction, to alcohol and/or drugs.

Your head might be screaming at you to leave. But you just can’t. In your heart, you feel you love you them. “They need me,” you rationalize. You might even feel guilty if you abandon them.

You are just like an addict. If you admit that your life has become out of control and walk away, you’ll lose the very thing you are addicted to. That high you get from their charismatic, remorseful, attentive side. What you need to make you feel good again. After each dreadful low, you are desperate for a ‘fix,’ that high, again.

But at some point, you will reach rock bottom—the abuse will become extreme. If they’re physically abusive, they may have even tried to kill you. My ex did, by strangling me. He wrapped his hands around my throat when I was seven months pregnant and with a demonic look in his eyes he screamed, “Die, you c***! Die.”

Like many women, even after that, I still loved him! My heart kept screaming at me not to leave him. Yes, even after he almost killed me.

If you’re lucky your head will start to outweigh your heart. You’ll stop denying that this person is no good for you. Finally, you’ll dig deep and find the courage to walk away. I did. But not before going back to him many, many times.  The drug-like pull back toward him was so great. The high, after we first reunited again, was better than the pain I felt when I was without him, alone.

When you leave an abusive person, the withdrawal feels as agonizing as, I imagine it might be, weaning off heroin. It did for me, at least. You’ve been numb for so long that a gamut of emotions pour out at once. Shame, anger, loneliness, guilt—you name it, you feel it. It hurts.

I have never sobbed like that before in my life. I was so overwhelmed by the rawness of them. But you need to feel these emotions, as painful as they are. You need to thaw out. To go cold turkey in order to recover.

Unless you look hard at why you were addicted to an unavailable person in the first place, you risk going back to them. Or replacing them with a different drug, in the form of another abusive person. Either way, like any addict, you risk losing your life.  

You need to ask yourself the same questions I did:

Why is it I still love someone who abuses me? Why is it I need to numb myself with someone who is like a drug to me? Someone you know is no good for you, but is the only thing that will make you feel good again. Hopefully, like me, you’ll realize your addiction started way before you ever met this person.

I’m sure you know already that it has something to do with low self-esteem. If we don’t love ourselves, we’re attracted to those who treat us as though we are unlovable. But it’s not enough to just tell someone they need to “love themselves more.” “You need to work on your self-esteem!” That’s easier said than done. Believe me, I know.

First, you need to understand why it is that you feel you are unlovable, or not good enough. How you came to be so low in self-esteem that you let a person abuse you. Only then can you break the cycle of addiction to them and recover.

You may be like me, having grown up in a comfortable, happy home. Never having experienced verbal or physical abuse before in your life. Or you may have suffered it in your family and be repeating the negative patterns of your past. Either way, the root of low self-esteem is if, in some way, your emotional needs were not met as a child.

It might be, for example, that one of your parents had an addiction say, to work or to alcohol. The other parent was then so focused on rescuing them that neither could meet your emotional needs.

It may be as simple as having a parent who was controlling. You weren’t allowed an opinion or any feelings of your own. And if you voiced them, they shut you down, so you learned to mistrust your gut instincts over time. Or it might have been they were such perfectionists, the only way to gain approval was to be perfect in every way.

Our experiences are unique to us, so only you will know. But try to work it out.

If our emotional needs aren’t met as a child, we grow up to have that fear we’re “not good enough.” We also fear abandonment, as we know how painful that is already.

Our parents may have been there when we were kids, but couldn’t deal with us on an emotional level. So, we choose a partner whose baggage matches ours. Someone whose needs weren’t met as a child either and who is as insecure as we are. Even better if they have problems that we can rescue them from—an addiction or a traumatic past.  For if they need us, if they depend on us, then in our subconscious minds, they’re less likely to abandon us. To do what we fear most.

Besides, if we can be their rescuer, then we can focus all our attention onto them. By doing so we can deny, ignore, we can even numb our own feelings of insecurity and fears inside. It’s them that has the problem, not us! And it’s such an effective drug, we might not even be aware those feelings exist at all. I wasn’t.

The trouble is, this is a dysfunctional dance. The steps feel familiar, of course, as you’re recreating scenes from childhood to master them. But two people who are insecure are incapable of fulfilling each other’s needs.

To feel secure, both have the pathological need to feel in control. While I was ‘rescuing’ my ex, I felt in control and confident he wouldn’t leave me. But that left him feeling vulnerable, afraid I would see his flaws and walk away. So, he would need to push me away to regain his power.

Now I was the vulnerable one. Terrified he would abandon me, I would forgive him anything to get him back again. If I couldn’t, it would reinforce those painful childhood feelings I had of being unlovable. It would reveal the depth of my insecurity and fears.

And so, I tried to please him, to prove I was worthy of his love and my weakness gave him strength again. The love he then showered onto me was just the drug I needed to numb those fears away and gave me security to start rescuing him again. And so, the cycle begins.

But is this love? I had to ask myself the same. He was a man who treated me as worthless, I knew that. Yet I couldn’t leave him. I still “loved him.” Or so I thought. Until I understood that this is not love, but an addiction. An addiction to someone who could never love me, who could never meet my emotional needs.

He said he loved me all the time. But he never showed me I was lovable. I told myself, too, that I loved him. But in fact, I just wanted to rescue him, to turn him into something I had projected him to be, not who he was. A pity project, perhaps, that could distract me from how f***ed up I was.

When I finally left, I had to treat my addiction to this unavailable man the way any addict does. Go cold turkey. Thaw out. I had to feel all those painful feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Those hideous emotions that poured out.  But that was the only way to heal.

I had to go back to the root cause of my lack of self-esteem, where it was seeded in my childhood. Not to judge my parents. Like me, they were doing the best they could at the time. But to understand how I’d come to be this way.   

As painful and as hard as this is, once you get it and face those fears down, your insecurity will start to melt away.  And little by little you begin to love yourself.  I started by doing one nice thing for myself each day. Eventually, I found that self-esteem that everyone had been going on about.

You only attract someone equal to what you think you are worth.  Abusive people, who previously saw a chink in your armor, will now see you and run a mile. They’ll see that you get they’re not good enough for you.

Those people who are self-confident and don’t need you to rescue them, will no longer terrify you.  And among them will be the one, like I have since found. The person who treats you with kindness and respect. The person who meets your emotional needs and brings out the best in you.  The person who allows you to be vulnerable, but safe. They’ll never use that vulnerability as a weapon against you.

Sure, they could walk away any day. But you’ll no longer fear that. For if they do, you’ll just figure it’s not meant to be. You’ll still be there. And you’ll be enough to meet all your own emotional needs, with or without a partner.

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About Vivian McGrath

Vivian McGrath is a TV Executive Producer who makes documentaries for major US, UK, and Australian broadcasters.  She is also a survivor of domestic violence. Her book Unbeatable (How I Left a Violent Man)—her story of surviving abuse to finding success—will be published soon. She hopes her blog will help others become strong, fearless, and successful too.

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

The post When You’re Hooked On an Abusive Partner and Scared to Walk Away appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

By |February 28th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

How to Stop Caring and Start Finding Real Success! – Kolby Kay

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Kolby Kay is a renaissance man who wears many hats.  He is a dynamic public speaker, a devoted Dad, a business strategist, the owner of several companies, and the mastermind behind the supplement movement, “The Healthy Primate”.  He is a walking testament to the power of the “hustle”, and I am excited for you to get to know him over the course of the podcast!

In this podcast, Kolby shares powerful insight on how his past experiences and the adversity he has overcome has given him a rare drive and sense of ambition that is matched by few in the entrepreneurial space today.

While there were a lot of gems this awesome entrepreneur dropped, here are the three most important ways Kolby believes you can revolutionize your life:

1. You are not defined by the names that they call you

We have all struggled with the labels that were placed upon us by the adults in our lives during our formative years.  Even well-intentioned authority figures gave us the monikers of “too fat”, “too skinny”, “too smart”, “not bright enough”, or any other myriad of names that stuck to us like glue and began to shape our views of ourselves.  For many of us, the final nail in the coffin, was the fact that we felt like our school experience stifled our creativity and individuality.  We were told that we were no longer allowed to be “square pegs” and we had to fit into the “round holes”.  We were convinced that we were not “out of the box thinkers”, we were “troublemakers”.  We were not bursting with potential, we had “attention problems”.

I am telling you right now that you are enough.  You have passions, talents, skills and unique experiences that make you a valuable addition to any team or organization. Embrace what makes you great and let go of anybody’s opinion to the contrary.

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” – Maya Angelou

2. Build your tribe with genuine and heartfelt interaction

There is a certain type of pitch that seems really popular on social media right now.  It is boilerplate, it tells me nothing about the creator of the product and it looks like a mad-libs game for entrepreneurs.  They go something like: “Now, the new course from the world’s most dynamic speaker (insert name of random businessperson you’ve never heard of)!  You will learn to (something plagiarized poorly from a “Dailyvee” episode).  You can get this invaluable information for the LOW price of 11 kajillion dollars!”

People don’t buy your product, they buy into you.  They buy into your story.  People don’t purchase Apple products because they are technologically superior to their competitors.  Consumers flock to purchase the new iPhone, because they have bought into the ethos that the company has cultivated.  Steal the tactics from the masters and do the same for your end users.  Show them your ups and your downs.  Document your passion.  Engage in authentic conversation with a community that you have helped to build.  Bring them into your love affair with the product or service that you honestly believe will better their lives.  By doing so, you won’t just have customers, you will have dedicated fans for life.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen..” – Brené Brown

3. Be genuine and authentic with those that you love

It is incredibly easy to get lost in the pursuit of success and lose sight of the wonderful gifts that you already have in your life.  We, as people who chase bigger and better things, have been known to sacrifice a lot at the altar of our greater goals.  Look, I am not here to tell you that money and material things are not great.  As a person that has been without creature comforts, and now has a few zeros in my bank account, I can tell you unequivocally that having money is much better than being without.

Nevertheless, while money helps us to live efficiently, it is the relationships that we build and the love that we give to others that allows us to live DEEPLY.  Go to the dance recitals, cheer loudly for your kid’s soccer team, take your significant other out to a lavish “date night” and know that it is these investments that will help your life have real meaning.  When we lay on our deathbed, someday in the hopefully distant future, we will want to reminisce not on what we took for ourselves but rather the great good that we gave to others.

“Be somebody who makes EVERYONE feel like a SOMEBODY.” – Kid President

Check out this podcast interview with Kolby to learn all his tips, tricks, and techniques that he wants you to know to live a empowered life:

I hope you’ve enjoyed the “How to Be a Grownup Podcast!”  If you have some takeaways from the interview I missed, SOUND OFF in the comments below.

By |February 28th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

58 Wisdom Filled Robert B. Cialdini Quotes

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Robert Cialdini is the Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and was a visiting professor of marketing, business and psychology at Stanford University. Let’s be honest, we all know of Cialdini from reading the famous book, ”. If you’d like to know more about some of the lessons Cialdini teaches, […]

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We Worry Because Our Brain Is Impatient, Train It And Have Your Mental Power In Control

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Do you find yourself worrying over every little thing? Asking yourself if you should enroll in that extra class, move to a bigger place, or look for a new job? And while you’re worrying about those decisions, are you also wondering if you’ll be able to pay your bills next month, if you’ll get the raise you were promised, or if you’ll ever find your future spouse?

This is totally normal. In fact, most people are going through the same thing – constant worry.

There’s a perfectly good explanation for why you tend to worry about so much stuff all at once!

The environment these days is delaying what you want in return.

Most of the decisions you make occur in a “delayed return environment,” which means that you do not benefit immediately by your choices.[1] This also means that the majority of your worries deal with issues of the future – what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or even next year if I make this one decision now?

Because we are so future-oriented, our stress levels tend to be sky high. Our brains can’t deal with thinking too far into the future. Why is that?

Our brain is wired to immediate reward in return.

The human brain evolved to make decisions in an “immediate return environment.”[2] In other words, our modern brain took shape while we were still cave dwellers living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Then, our worries were more immediate in nature: how to get food, find water, and seek shelter from inclement weather.

For hundreds of thousands of years, humans existed in an immediate return environment. It was only about 500 years ago that modern society began, and with it, the switch to delayed return environment. The changes since then have been too fast for our brains to keep up with! Evolution is a long, slow process.

Enter: anxiety, stress, and worry. In today’s world, you are much more likely to suffer from chronic anxiety or worry all the time. Most of the things you worry about have no immediate solution. Because your brain is designed to prefer immediate results, you feel anxious when that doesn’t happen.

So, how do you fight this lag in evolution? What can you do to stop worrying and feeling anxious about the future?

Find something that you can control.

Stop worrying about if you’ll get a better job. Instead, control how many jobs you look for in a week. Set a goal of sending in 5 applications a week and track that goal. If you’re worried about not making new friends in your new city, start keeping track of how many new people you meet every day. Worried about saving enough for the downpayment on a house? Instead, focus on how much you save on a monthly basis.

The trick is to focus your energy on the things you can measure. By having something tangible to measure, you start taking control of your life and stop letting the future give you anxiety. Making sure you save $100 a month won’t suddenly make your life problem-free, but it will take away a little bit of the unknown.

Count your immediate returns.

Do yourself a favor. Try to focus on the immediate returns in your life instead of the delayed returns. Start this new habit this week. Don’t put it off.

Worried about being healthier? Start counting your daily servings of fruits and vegetables instead. Worried about saving money for a new car? Start reducing your daily splurges by preparing lunch at home and cutting out the morning coffee from the coffee shop on your way to work.

Just because your brain didn’t evolve fast enough to deal with modern life doesn’t mean that you can’t outsmart it. As soon as you start living your life with immediate returns in mind, your constant worrying will slowly melt away.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via


[1] James Clear: The Evolution of Anxiety: Why We Worry and What to Do About It
[2] James Clear: The Evolution of Anxiety: Why We Worry and What to Do About It
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By |February 28th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

The Gary Vaynerchuk Guide to Crushing It at Life

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I found out about Gary Vaynerchuk about six months ago. His videos would constantly appear on my LinkedIn feed. I didn’t know anything about him. One day, I finally caved by clicking on a video and my life has changed since then.

My jaw dropped after watching one of his videos. I could feel the hair raise on my arms. I felt like he was directly speaking to me. This man is unfiltered, unapologetic, unadulterated. I was hooked by his upfront and honest perspective. I love taking in his content and suggest it for everyone for he will give you a harsh but necessary dose of reality.

Vaynerchuk is very candid—some will even call him overly-aggressive. But he wishes the best for everyone. He wants people to be successful and happy. Through my learnings from his content, I’ve noticed four themes in his life that I’d like to share with you. These themes are what drives him in business and life. My aim is that you take in these themes, and use them to help you crush it in business and life.

Here are the four important lessons I’ve learned from Gary Vaynerchuk:

1. Regret

When you’re old and immobile, you might look back at the things you did, but you’ll also look back in pain on the things you never did. The pain of not taking action stings more than taking action. We have one shot at this game and every day is a chance to fulfill our destiny. Don’t wait for tomorrow. There will never be the right time to get started.  

2. Gratitude

I don’t know what your situation is in life. If you are an Addicted2Success reader then I’ll assume you are looking to improve your situation. As I am writing this, I am becoming grateful to the fact that I have food in my stomach, a roof over my head, a loving family, and a clean bill of health. As minute as these sound, I’m grateful every single day for these things.

It’s usually the small things in life that make me grateful for being alive—a delicious meal, a safe living situation, or spending time with my family. People literally kill for these things. As the adage goes, you don’t know how good you have it until it’s gone. Don’t take it for granted.

3. Self-Awareness

What I really like about Gary Vaynerchuk is that he truly knows himself. He understands his strengths and weaknesses. Gary knows and openly states that he isn’t smart. He was a C student at best as a child. Studying and taking tests were weaknesses of his. He was a killer salesman though. Knowing this, he focused on selling.

He was ripping flowers out of the ground and selling them to homeowners. He was making thousands of dollars a weekend selling baseball cards. He doesn’t know how to build technology, but he leverages the power of it. He’ll outsource the creation of technology, and then use it to help him do what he’s remarkable at—creating inspiring and actionable content.

Double down on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. It is absolutely vital to know yourself. It’s easy to lie to yourself and continue doing things you’re not good at. It might be why you have a job you don’t like, or continue to get passed up on a promotion. Are you doing things in life that tailor to your strengths?

4. Hustle

This is it. This is what it all comes down to in the end. If you want to become an artist, entrepreneur, or Olympian, you have to put in the work.  If you’re going home after work and watching House of Cards, you’re not hustling.  If you’re going out and getting wasted on the weekends then you’re not hustling.

Becoming successful requires you to work as hard as possible to achieve it. This is going to require sacrifice. It might mean sacrificing sleep, or time with friends and family. Gary says, “While you’re sleeping, I’m grinding.” His hustle mentality is what took his dad’s wine business from $3 million a year to $60 million a year. It’s what created his $40 million a year digital agency. Oh ya, he’s also a Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

As you can see, there’s nothing here that is extremely profound. They are simple concepts, but damn hard to execute on. It takes a lot of introspection and even more blood, sweat and tears. Remember these 4 things.

  • Regret: Will you have the guts to take a risk—knowing when you’re old, you gave it your all?
  • Gratitude: Whether you achieve your desired level of success or not, will you be grateful for the positive things in your life?
  • Self-Awareness: Can you look deep inside and find out who you truly are?
  • Hustle: Are you willing to put in the work?

When Gary speaks, it’s as if he is addressing every unique individual. It’s why people listen, and it’s one of the many qualities that makes him special. He came from a modest childhood. Vaynerchuk is an immigrant from the former Soviet Union. He came with his family with no money, and lived in a studio apartment the size of this office with multiple family members. Using his skills, mindset, and passion, Vaynerchuk created his own success. Now he’s rooting for you to succeed.

What is your favorite thing about Gary Vaynerchuk? Leave your thoughts below!

By |February 28th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments