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This Is What A Successful Person Looks Like

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If I were to ask you to close your eyes and imagine a successful person, what is the first image that comes to your mind? Most people will describe images of a good-looking person wearing expensive clothes, driving a nice car and having achieved wealth, fame and power. Perhaps they came from rich families and went to Ivy League schools after having been raised by loving parents in upper-middle class suburbia. Most people would probably describe a successful person in such a way because the world tends to define success based on money and material possessions. That’s understandable and there is nothing wrong with being wealthy but money isn’t the only measure. We might also agree with the description above because that is how a successful person is typically portrayed in the media and is similar to what people call the American Dream. We’ve been conditioned to think of successful people this way.

The truth is that there is no standard description of what a successful person looks like.  That’s because success is not defined by what you wear or drive and it’s certainly not dependent on where you grew up or who your parents were.  If I took you to an airport and asked you to pick out the successful from the unsuccessful, you wouldn’t be able to do it.  Success doesn’t care what you look like, whether you’re male or female or even about the color of your skin.  Success doesn’t care what neighborhood you grew up in or how popular you were in school.  There is no success gene and people are not born with a pre-disposed ability to become successful or wealthy.  Rather, people achieve success because of who they are and who they have become.

“It’s not about your looks or your past but is instead about your personal characteristics.”

This is what a successful person looks like:

A successful person keeps goals and a to-do list while the unsuccessful person is easily distracted and unfocused. A successful person talks about their ideas and shares useful information with others, while the unsuccessful person likes to talk about other people and regular shares criticism. A successful person makes time for personal development by reading books and listening to audio that will help them grow as an individual, while the unsuccessful person prefers to watch a lot of TV and spend hours playing video games. The successful person is not afraid to fail and always learns from their mistakes rather than blaming others for their failures. The successful person wants others to succeed and compliments others rather than feeling threatened by someone else’s success. A successful person seeks to build positive relationships with others and learns from those that have gone before them rather than trying to look like they know it all. A successful person is confident enough to show real humility and gratitude instead of trying to come across as successful and as better than everyone else. A successful person hustles and works hard at developing new skills and good habits.  They have patience and they persist because they understand that success doesn’t come easy so they are willing to put in the time necessary to achieve results.  The successful person takes action, makes progress and makes things happen.

Success, you see, is not about what a person looks like but rather it’s about who that person is.

It’s about what they do rather than what they own. The thing that separates the successful and the unsuccessful is what takes place inside their head and it’s not based on genetics or the neighborhood they grew up in. I’m fully aware that some cities and schools do more to help kids become successful than others and that poverty, drugs and violence are very real issues. I myself grew up in such an environment and saw more than my fair share of these things. But I have also realized, that in spite of all these external things, anyone can achieve success if they want it bad enough and are willing to do the things necessary to transform who they are.

Success is not easy, but it’s possible!  Quit making excuses.

Words of wisdom from Gary Vaynerchuk on the myth of overnight success.

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5 Best Books On Habits

reading-habit

 

Habits and Routines rule our life.  This topic is covered often by most self-help books and the greatest teachers on the subject have pointed it out the power of habits repeatedly.  Tony Robbins refers to them as your daily rituals.  Jim Rohn and Napoleon Hill made good mention of successful habits in their books as well.  Apart from Beliefs, habits and routines have the most impact on our success and are a critical element of the SHARK Belief Philosophy.  Habits serve as the foundation that help us consistently make progress in the other areas.  Beliefs are critical because you need that mindset and internal belief that your success is not only possible but that you personally will achieve it, but habits are the day to day actions that make it reality.

Our habits and routines occupy such a large percentage of our lives that they will separate those that succeed from those that do not.  The good news is we can change our current habits as well as create new ones.  I dedicate an entire section of my book to area of habits.

Here are 5 of my favorite book that are almost entirely on the subject.  I say almost because even these books cover some of the other elements of SHARK Belief such as goals and beliefs.  However, if you want to dig deeper on the subject of establishing successful habits, these are the books to start with.

1. Mini Habits

Mini-Habits

I love the concept of mini-habits and how they make starting a new habit so easy it’s nearly impossible to fail.  If you can break it down to the point where it takes very little willpower to start, then you will do the action behind your new habit and almost always go beyond the minimum you set for yourself.  For example, say you want to make a habit of writing every day as you work towards your first book, then set a habit to write 50 words a day.  Everyone can write at least that many words and usually, when you get going, you’ll find yourself writing much more.  Mini habits are key to establishing new habits easily.

2. The Power Of Habits

Power-of-Habit-Duhigg

This is the science behind why we set habit and how they ultimately control all aspects of our lives.  They have such control over our lives and if we can understand how they work then we can set habits that can support our goals and ultimately our success.

3. Superhuman By Habit

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Our willpower is limited, yet we rely on it every day to get our tasks done. Even if we build willpower slowly over time, it’s never enough to reach all of our goals. The solution lies in habit creation, the method by which we transform hard tasks into easy ones, making them automatic and independent of our will power.  This is an excellent view on the power of habits and practical ways to instill new ones into our lives.  Not just theory but also good how to.

4. The Miracle Morning

the-miracle-morning

This is really more about a routine and more specifically, a morning routine.  A large majority of the highly successful have a habit of waking up early.  But more than just getting up before others it’s what you do with that time.  This book shows you the power behind a powerful morning routine and makes a compelling case for why anyone seeking success should employ this success hack.  From personal experience, this is an amazing way to increase your productivity and an amazing way to start the day.

5. The Compound Effect

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The power behind any habit is the compoud effect it has on your life as you repeat that same actions day in and day out.  Just like going to the gym for just one intense workout won’t really do a lot for your physique, a consistent exercise routine practiced over a period of time can literally transform your body.  The compound effect is about the power of consistency and habits for success.

 

Habits Rule Our Lives

There are many other great books on the subject but these are some of my recent favorites because they are easy to read, offer a good understanding of how to form and change habits, and provide practical tips to getting started.  The magic is in the consistency of forming a habit over time.  It eventually becomes automatic allowing you to make progress even when you don’t really feel like it.  Just like exercising, one day at the gym won’t do much but the cumulative effect over time is incredible.  Habits rule all of our lives and we must learn how they work and how we can use them to our advantage.  This is why Habits are one of the six critical elements to SHARK Belief.

 

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How To Take The First Step Toward Your Goal

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Ever wish you could work your dream job?  Dream of pursuing your passional with 100% focus and energy?  Many people want to follow their passion but are often afraid to do it or don’t know where to start.   The fear of failure or lack of knowledge can be big obstacles that hold us back. We would all pursue our dreams if we knew beforehand that we would be successful doing it.  Most often, we have limiting beliefs such as:  “It probably won’t work”, “I could never do it”, “I don’t know where to start”.

Here are a couple of simple tips using key SHARK Belief elements to help you get started:

Tip # 1 – Determine Exactly What You Want

Decide what it is you would like to be doing and what that looks like.  How would you like to be living your life or what do you want to accomplish?  It sounds obvious but this is a step often skipped over by those pursuing success.  This is all about having an Aim and knowing what your actions are for.  The first step is to set your focus and begin directing your thoughts and energy to one thing.  You don’t turn this into a big project so just describe it to yourself or someone you trust in simple terms.  How will you know when you’ve been successful?  If you don’t know where you’re going, you will end up some place else.

Tip # 2 – Connect With Others

Get out and meet people who are already doing what you want to be doing and who are also making money from it. Spend time with them, observe them and learn from them.  The best way to get started is to connect with other like-minded individuals.

Several things will happen: By meeting with them you’ll find out how they got to where they are and your knowledge of how to do it yourself will go up.  Additionally, by seeing others do what you want to do will change your beliefs and you will have more confidence that you can do it too.

By following these two simple tips, you see chain reaction that will propel you to take further action.  We have a tendency of overcomplicating things and in our pursuit of success, it’s easy to fall into the trap of paralysis by analysis.  The only cure for this is to take action.  The doubts will begin to go away and the sky will start to clear the moment you begin to pursue your dreams.

lao Tzu journey quote

 

SHARK Belief is simple, but not always easy

This methodology will help you break it down and simplify your path your path to success.  In the two tips above, you can quickly see several of the SHARK Belief elements at work: Aim, Relationships, Knowledge and Beliefs.  It’s amazing how they work even better when you combine them.

To reach your goals and dreams, you have to know how to do it (or how to start) and you also have to believe that you can get there.  If you don’t know where to start or believe that you can do it, you’ll never take the first step.  Follow the tips above to get you started or to get you back on track in pursuit of your dreams.

dont die wondering quote

 

SHARK Belief Your Life!

Why Habits Trump Willpower when it comes to Success

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It’s a paradox.  Why are some things in life very simple, yet still very difficult to achieve?  For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds, you probably already know how to go about doing that.  Cut out certain bad foods, limit portions, and exercise regularly.   Simple right?  Then why is it so hard?!?!

Here’s why:  Most people are relying on discipline and willpower when it comes to making consistent progress on their biggest goals.  Discipline is hard!  You willpower cannot be trusted.

The issue with relying on discipline and your willpower is that you will not always feel like it.   There is always an excuse to rationalize your momentary feelings.  You can always talk yourself into doing something you shouldn’t (eat that second slice of cake) or out of doing something you should (go to the gym).

nobody said it was easy

 

In the long run, your willpower sucks!  Having to make the same decision over and over while mustering up the willpower to do what you know you should do just takes way too much mental energy that can be used for better things.  Sure, willpower is a like a muscle and becomes stronger the more you use it.  However, to get to the next level of success, its critical to learn and use this tactic.

Autopilot

Did you know that 90% of what you do every day is done subconsciously?  Think about it, you woke up this morning and probably did the same thing you do every morning without really having to think about it.  Alarm goes off, hit snooze, hit snooze again, roll out of bed, check phone, brush teeth…

When we repeat the same action over and over, it eventually becomes a habit.  Habits are wonderful since they help “re-wire” your brain so that it uses less energy to perform that action which in turn conserves mental capacity for other things.  However, once a habit or routine is in place, it can generally only be replaced by another habit or routine.

Remember when you first learned to drive?  It took all of your concentration and then some!  Now, you can commute through the crazy rush hour traffic while simultaneously checking your phone, singing along with the radio and eating your breakfast.  Ah, the power of habits!

 

habits quote jim rohn

Habit Building

Okay, so we all know habits are powerful and that all successful people rely on good habits or routines to reach their goals.  The next step is to determine what one habit would help you move toward your goal.  Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change many things at once.  Instead, just prove to yourself that you can build one new habit that makes consistent progress toward your goal.

Pick one simple thing you will focus on turning into a success habit over the next 21 – 30 days.  It could be as easy as never hitting snooze, reading for 15 minutes every day or writing down your goal every morning.  Just do something every day that will ultimately turn into a habit that will free up some of your willpower for better things.  Trust me, this might be difficult at first but you’ll soon get momentum which is then followed by motivation and increased willpower.  Action first, feelings second.

 

The Secret

This is the secret behind the insane discipline we see from world class athletes.  Yes, they have great coaches and mentors, killer work ethic, ambition and strong beliefs.  But what keeps them going during those times when they just don’t feel like it is their successful habits and routines.  There’s no need to debate themselves, they just do it.

Is discipline and willpower important?  You bet!  And you’ll need a lot during the first phase of habit building.  However, you should not have to constantly draw on these wells for the longterm.  What starts off as unbelievable discipline and willpower soon turns into habit.  Once things get moving, taking action becomes easier and you’ll be ready to take it to the next level.

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.  ~Aristotle

Learn the secret to successful habits and routines and use them to build your success machine.  Once your first habit is in place, add a second, then a third and so one.  The compounding effect is pure magic.

We are all slaves to habits.  Decide to be a slave to good habits.

 

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How To Transform Yourself – 3 Tips

 

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One of the most incredible freedoms you have is the ability to change who you are and what you can do.  Everyone has this amazing power to transform themselves yet it is probably one of the least used powers today.  Most people have settled with who they are, what they have and what they have been able to accomplish.  They’ve quit pushing themselves.

By nature, most us resist change and would rather stick with the status quo.  But for those of you who want more, those that dream big and aren’t afraid of change, here are some tips and basic principals to be aware of.

90% of  transformation takes place in the mind

One of nature’s most incredible creatures is the butterfly.  It enters the cocoon a slow fat caterpillar and soon emerges a majestic and colorful butterfly with wings that can take it anywhere.  While we don’t have the capacity to physically morph into another being, we all have the incredible ability and freedom to transform our minds.

Your beliefs limit what you think is possible for your life and will drive much of what you do over the course of your life.  The types of goals you set, the sacrifices you make to achieve something big, the amount of money you earn and even the kinds of friends you have will all be influence by your beliefs.  The good news is you have the ability to influence and transform your beliefs, which will ultimately transform your life.

 

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Next time the Yankees play the Red Sox, look at the sold-out crowd and try to pick out the millionaires, the CEOs, successful entrepreneurs, accomplished authors, or the political power brokers.  You won’t be able to do it because much of what makes these individuals successful is what is in their minds.  Sure, some drive nicer cars, can afford better seats or fancier clothes, but if they were all dressed in the same sports attire and standing in the hotdog line next to you, you couldn’t tell them apart from anyone else.  The point is that success begins in the mind.

 

Transform these three areas to accelerate success

Your knowledge  

Depending on the goal you have set for yourself or the person you wish to become, you will need more knowledge that is specific to your goal.  In today’s world of readily available information, free online tutorials and countless universities, there is no longer the excuse of not knowing what you need to know.  Begin to focus on what you need to learn, seek out the information you need and see how quickly you will begin to transform your mind and confidence in what you can accomplish.  Never stop learning.

Your Habits

A large part of our day to day activity is done on autopilot and this is due to all of the engrained habits and routines we’ve accumulated over the years.  There are good habits and there are bad habits.  Determine which habits or routines would help you reach your aim and being to set those new habits in your life.  It is the cumulative effect of consistently working on establishing a good habit that produces miracles.  Tackle one at a time and slowly but surely, you will build a solid foundation of good habits that will transform your life.

“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.”

Your Skills  

Never say “I can’t do that” or “I’ve never been good at that”.  The truth is, you can learn just about any skill given the time and effort.  Learning more about effective techniques, setting aside time to practice and develop, committing to regular and consistent improvement & not fearing failure will all lead to you developing skills.  Focus on the skills you need to reach your goals and start with one.  Then over time, you can build on that and add new skills.  The most successful among us are the most skilled at something.

 

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Commit to Life-long Development

Most people think personal growth and development stops when they finish school.  In today’s fast paced, ever-changing world, it is critical to stay ahead by constantly learning new skills and gaining new knowledge.  Be one of the few that will continue to improve throughout their lives.  Become obsessed with improvement and you can become anything you put your mind to.  No matter how long it takes or how hard it gets, it’s ultimately up to you.

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SHARK Belief – Get Started With This Success Map

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Here is a simple way to get started with SHARK Belief by drawing your own success map.  A great way to start is by asking yourself the right questions.

Albert Einstein famously quoted “A problem well defined is a problem half solved.”

This requires not only asking good questions, but also attempting to answer them.   To apply the Shark Belief process, you must first create a map that will get you started and keep your efforts focused on the right actions for the best results.

Start by answering the following questions for each element and create your success roadmap:

Aim

  • What ultimately do I want to achieve?
  • How will I know if I have been successful (or am being successful)?
  • Have I written it down yet?

Skills

  • What skills and/or techniques are needed to achieve this goal?
  • Should I develop these skills myself or work with someone already skilled in this area?
  • What is the best way to practice and ultimately master this skill?

Habits

  • Are there habits or routines I can establish to make progress toward my goal each day/each week?
  • What habits or routines have other successful people implemented?
  • Do I have bad habits that I need to replace?
  • What one or two foundation habits should I start to develop first?
  • What habits can I stack on after that?

Relationships

  • Who can help me achieve this goal?
  • Do I need a mentor or accountability partner?  Who might that be?
  • Do I lack skills or knowledge that can be bridged by someone else?
  • Where can I meet others that are working toward a similar aim (or those that have done what I want to do)?
  • Are there people negatively influencing me or holding me back?  How can I change that?

Knowledge

  • What specific things do I need to learn more about to accomplish my goal?
  • What are the top three sources for this knowledge?
  • What is the most effective way to learn it?
Source: http://alameleadership.com

Image Credit: http://alameleadership.com

Beliefs

  • Do I believe it’s possible for me to accomplish this?
  • Have I visualized myself reaching my goal? What does that look like?
  • How can I continue to reinforce my beliefs and stay motivated?
  • Do I have limiting beliefs, fears or doubts that are holding me back?
  • What do others that have succeed believe?

Build Your Success Blueprint

Ask yourself these questions and write down the answer to each.  Brainstorm multiple answers and most importantly, take action when you’ve come up with an answer.  It’s one thing to know what you need to do and why.  It’s another thing entirely to hustle and take massive action towards the accomplishment of your desired aim.

None of this will work, unless you do

The SHARK Belief Philosophy is about taking action.  You must first determine your target, then ask the right questions that will lead you to the most effective course to follow.  All success will contain the six elements of SHARK Belief.  Start with the SHARK Belief Overview and discover what they are and how to apply them for greater acheivements.