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 stocksnap.io

Reference

[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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The 3 Biggest Mistakes I Made Starting My Online Business

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3 biggest business mistakes

Setting out by yourself to start a business can be an exciting and also scary time. Whatever your reason for needing to go solo and make it on your own, what follows is usually a messy experiment of failures and successes than eventually (hopefully) becomes a business you can be proud of, or the makings of an entrepreneur who’s not afraid to give anything a go.

It can be even scarier when most of what you do is online for everyone to see (or not, as is the case with my third business mistake below). The sheer volume of opportunities we have to access clients, suppliers, collaborators and solutions online is unprecedented, to the extent that even a stay at home mum can start a business in her pyjamas and eventually offer her husband a job.

However, despite eventually succeeding in my ventures, most of my mistakes had nothing to do with the online realm at all. It can be easy to think online business is easier, but it still needs you to focus on all the hallmarks required of any traditional business. Here’s where I fell down, so you can hopefully avoid the same pitfalls.

1. Not Keeping My Finances in Check

My ‘business’ started out fairly slowly with revenue trickling in from here and there. I did have the foresight to set up as a Sole Trader (a simple Australian business structure), but I didn’t set up a separate bank account because as a sole trader I would be taxed at the same rate as an individual. So all my revenue earned went into my personal account and was spent as personal income.

My big mistake was not considering the implication of no longer having income tax withheld from my earnings. When you’re employed, your employer does that for you and passes the tax onto the government. When you’re a sole trader, you need to do that yourself, preferably on a regular basis ie each quarter. I learned the hard way, getting landed with an $11,000 tax bill at the end of my first financial year.

To make things even more difficult, I wasn’t really keeping effective financial records, so submitting my tax return was painful and eventually resulted in many tears and a visit to an accountant. My accountant set me on the right track, helped me get set up with an accounting system, a business bank account, and the correct business structure. They also empowered me to learn how to manage and understand my own accounts and tax obligations. You may want to delegate these to a bookkeeper and/or your accountant, but I thoroughly recommend learning to understand how your finances work in your own business first.

2. Working with the Wrong People

I think this is a pretty common mistake. When we first start out we eagerly take business that comes our way, usually for the wrong reasons – they’re a friend, they were referred by a friend, we need the money, we tell ourselves we need the experience – even if they’re not quite the right fit.

I’ve taken on clients and then realised I should have done more homework. I would have recognised that I couldn’t actually help them. I’ve worked with clients who have said they want one thing and then after it was delivered, moved the goalposts – like to another playing field!

It’s the same with people who you contract or sub-contract to – your judgement can be easily clouded, but when it really matters, the mismatch in expectations or skill will become painfully clear.

The best ways to avoid these mistakes is to:

  • have a very clear expectation of what you want in a client and/or contractor
  • do your homework and make sure they actually fit the brief. Ask for examples of work from a potential contractor, or at least do a trial run.
  • ensure expectations are clearly understood – do they understand what you’ll be doing for them and what they’ll be doing for you?
  • be super vigilant with the above if considering working with friends or family

3. Lacking Self Confidence

Deciding to jump the fence from being an influencer to working with influencers was a big step for me. There was some definite imposter syndrome going on, and as such I ended up spending too much time worrying about branding and business cards (which is important to help you stand out) and not enough time creating content and promoting myself. I felt like I had to hide behind some pretty fancy business cards that cost me $900 (wow, that hurts to admit that!) and remembered crying when my toddler destroyed $30 worth of business cards in the blink of an eye!

I have always identified as the experimenter, not the expert. I’m a terrible self-promoter and I worry about what people would think if I ever wrote an opinion piece, hence why finding blog posts authored by yours truly is like searching for hens teeth. Not the best strategy if you want to be found online!

Last week Darren introduced you to Robert Gerrish of Flying Solo in a podcast interview about how to overcome the challenges of being a solo entrepreneur. I’ve been going through his Soloism course and came across this very frank observation:

Being a soloist demands that you are prepared to stand up, stand out and get noticed. It also demands that you stand for something, have opinions and can talk powerfully and passionately about what you do, who for, why and how. This is stepping into the expert’s space – standing under the spotlight.

Are you ready to stand under that spotlight? I wish I had realised that positioning yourself as an expert is not about he or she who shouts loudest. Any confidence (even the quiet kind) can help you create content and opportunities that will allow the right people to find you and work with you. It’s something I’m still learning to do so that I can continue to grow into the entrepreneur who’s not afraid to give anything a go.

Soloism ‘Work Your Way’

Solosim would have helped me to avoid most of my business mistakes, except maybe the tax one – there’s no specific advice on that, and is best pursued with your relevant local authorities. When you go it alone you don’t have to be truly alone – there are great communities like ours and Flying Solo to draw from, and the Solosim ‘Work your way course can help you at whatever stage you’re in with your solo business.

With over 80 videos and supported by exercises, worksheets and online discussion, Work your way is the most comprehensive course of its kind anywhere. The modules help you to attract more dream clients. Fire clients. Find a mentor. Coach yourself. Work faster. Work slower. Work healthily. Charge more. Smile more. Expand. Contract. Enter new markets. Design your office. Design your week. Design your exit.

I’m looking forward to the next stage of my own entrepreneurial venture, as it is ever changing and exciting. I’ll see you on the other side of this module on ‘Rejuvenating and Refreshing’!

Soloism Rejevenating and Refreshing

ProBlogger is an affiliate partner of Soloism who is offering a 20% discount off the Work your way course. We earn a small commission if you purchase Soloism but we offer our genuine recommendation for it and the Robert’s teaching.

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The Big Rocks First – How To Do More Work with Less Time

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On this episode of Driving with John Chow, I explain a time management trick that will allow you to do more and more work in less and less time. How? You put the big rocks in the jar first.

If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life? Your children; your loved ones; your education; your dreams; a worthy cause; teaching or mentoring others; doing things that you love; time for yourself; your health; your significant other.

Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (the sand), then you’ll fill your life with little things you worry about that don’t really matter, and you’ll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks). So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on my video, ask yourself this question: What are the big rocks in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Why Your Blog Needs SEO

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In the second part of our three-part series on the What, How and Why of SEO and how it relates to your blog, we’ll be exploring why your blog needs SEO (you can find the first post SEO For Bloggers: A Basic Explanation here).

The reasons for writing a blog are varied, from sharing your knowledge to earning income, but they all depend on attracting, maintaining and growing an audience. You can have a blog filled with great writing and information, but if no one reads it, all you have is a diary.

Why Your Blog Needs SEO | ProBlogger

The Importance of SEO

Now for some sobering facts. At any given time there are approximately 164 million blogs in circulation, yet 80% of those stagnate with readership numbers of less than a thousand, and many with, as the industry maxim goes, readerships of one.

A common process with bloggers, especially when starting out, is to pump out content, a “build it and they will come” approach. This is pointless and an approach that will only dishearten your efforts in building a loyal readership. If you weren’t attracting readers with five blog posts, what makes you think writing ten more will change anything?

So how do you increase your readership base? Well, promotion is the key, along with the ability of your blog to be found. That’s where SEO comes in.

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is the process used to write and structure your blog in such a way as to raise your search engine rankings. When done correctly it means more people finding and reading your blog. Here’s why:

SEO Is Cost-Effective Marketing

In the search for more readers, many blog owners resort to advertising on social media or paying for ads on other blogs. This approach will usually cost you money. Typically, not what a blogger wants. Utilise the power of SEO to:

  • Accurately pinpoint your audience – achieving better results than ads
  • Save money by researching and writing your own campaign
  • Customise your SEO campaigns to target exactly the type of reader you want visiting your blog
  • Increase Return-On-Investment with custom marketing using SEO techniques and keyword analysis

Be Searched. Be Found.

Readers looking for blogs like yours have a great way to find them, and that is using search engines. Google and the like are this generation’s phone books, handy ways to look up any business or entity to find out where to contact them. Google does its part by sending out its robot (Googlebot) to crawl your site, searching for relevant information. It then uses this information to catalogue the individual pages. The closer your blog posts come to answering reader’s questions, the more likely they are to rank high.

Search engine optimisation is just that: optimising your page to get the best possible rankings for a given search phrase. By following simple SEO principles, traffic from Google and other search engines can grow quickly. Even tweaking small details, such as making filenames descriptive instead of image009.jpg can help posts rank higher.

A Better Reader Experience

Structuring your blog posts with SEO in mind makes for a much better reader experience. Informative, entertaining, and succinct posts will keep readers returning and help build a loyal following. Other points to follow that create a superior reader experience are:

  • Focus each post on a single key phrase group, to avoid posts wandering off topic
  • Make your site uniform across all pages to appear more professional
  • Compress your images to ensure faster load times
  • Match all page and image titles to relate to the page content
  • Links on your pages should only lead to legitimate, relevant posts and sites

Roll With The Changes

SEO is in a constant state of flux. Every time you think it is perfect, a Google update can upset the balance. The regular updates that Google conducts means your SEO must be a dynamic process to maintain high rankings. Keep abreast of Google and its various updates and tweak your site accordingly. Evolving your SEO will ensure you continue to deliver quality posts to your readers.

Leading The Competition

If you have competition in your niche that you’re eager to overtake, SEO is one of the simplest ways to do it. This works especially well if your competitor has poor quality search engine optimisation. They may have a greater budget or more time to work on their site, but if their pages aren’t optimised as well as yours, you will hold the SEO advantage. That means a greater opportunity for your site to rise in the rankings with a potential drop for the competition.

A simple, successful search can lead a vast amount of readership to your blog. To be searched and found entails you spending some time understanding and implementing an SEO strategy that makes your blog easier to discover. You want your blog to stand out from your competition, increasing your readership base and offering you the chance to monetise your blog. SEO is a powerful tool that can leverage your efforts for great returns.

Jim Stewart, CEO of StewArt Media, is a recognised digital marketing expert. Jim is ProBlogger’s SEO expert and will share his vast SEO knowledge to equip you with the systems and skills to optimise and monetise your blog using tried and tested techniques. What Jim doesn’t know about SEO and blogging isn’t worth knowing.

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ePayments Makes Online Payment Quick and Easy

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When you go into a physical store and buy a physical item, you can typically pay for that with physical money. Cash. However, as I’m sure you are keenly aware, things are nowhere near as simple anymore and there needs to be an easy and secure way to send and receive payments over the Internet. Your physical wallet needs to be supported by an e-wallet too.

And that brings us to today’s review of ePayments, a comprehensive online payment system with competitive fees, money transfers across the globe, and a secure infrastructure so you know your funds are safe.

Practical and Simple Online Payment

According to the About Page, ePayments got its start in 2011 as a means of facilitating payments within the affiliate marketing industry. The London-based company has since expanded to handle transactions from over 100 countries around the world in numerous other industries.

The fundamental principle behind ePayments should sound like a familiar one, as you’ve surely come across more than a few payment processing services while making money online (and making online purchases). In the case of ePayments, you can collect payments from anyone, make online payments to anyone, and put money into and take money out of your ePayments e-wallet quickly, conveniently and securely.

Transfers and payments within the ePayments ecosystem are free. If one ePayments user wants to send some money to another ePayments user, assuming the funds are already in the account, there are no fees whatsoever. And this is true on a global basis.

Spending with a Mastercard

One of the most common challenges that affiliate marketers and other online professionals face is figuring out the simplest way to access their money. They might have to wait several business days to withdraw the funds into their bank accounts, for instance. ePayments wants to make that easier for you.

The most convenient and efficient way to access the funds in your ePayments account is through the ePayments prepaid Mastercard. You simply transfer the money from your e-wallet to load up your credit card, spending the money just like you would with any other credit card.

Point of sale purchases carry a 0% transaction fee. Grab lunch, pick up the groceries, and buy a new flat screen TV. If you’d rather have cash on hand, there’s a daily ATM withdrawal limit of $3,000 and you’ll be charged $2.60 per transaction when withdrawing at an ATM.

Understanding the Fee Structure

You can already be assured that your funds are being kept securely, but how much is it going to cost you to use ePayments? The extensive fee chart is worth checking for the finer details on that matter.

To deposit funds into your ePayments e-wallet, bank transfers are free, while funding your account with WebMoney carries a 1% fee. Funding with a Visa or Mastercard has a 2.6% fee. To take money out, you’ll be charged 2.9% to your credit card, 2% to WebMoney, and 0.8% as a bank transfer. Withdrawing to a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Litecoin is free.

Realistically, the best way to get at your cash is by withdrawing to your ePayments prepaid Mastercard. The credit card does carry a $35 annual account maintenance fee and you’ll be charged a $10 monthly fee if your account is inactive for longer than six months.

There’s a Mobile App Too

To more easily manage your account while on the go, you can pick up the corresponding ePayments mobile app. It’s available for both iOS and and Android as a free download.

With the mobile app, you can check on the balance on both your e-wallet and your prepaid Mastercard, conveniently shifting funds between the two with just a couple of quick taps. You’ll also notice that ePayments supports US Dollars, Euros and Russian Rubles. The app will let you exchange between currencies too.

If you want to check your transaction history or withdraw your funds to an external account, that can be accomplished through the mobile app as well. It’s really comprehensive.

Sending and Receiving Money Like a Pro

The three key components to ePayments is that your payments (and fund management) are fast, cost-effective and secure. This is great for affiliates, to be sure, as well as freelancers, small businesses, and even the general population.

There are two main types of accounts offered, Personal and Business, and signing up for an account takes less than 15 seconds. You simply provide either an email address or phone number and they’ll send you a confirmation code. That’s it.

To encourage more people to register, ePayments has a referral program in place where you’ll get $15 (or 12 Euro) for every new customer you send who orders and activates the Mastercard. It’s all very robust, convenient and easy.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

20 Electrifying Jimi Hendrix Quotes

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Jimi Hendrix is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Dying at 27 years old. Hendrix has influenced the music scene with his experimental guitar sounds, and his eccentric fashion.

Jimi Hendrix quotes still live on along with his music and soulful style that is often imitated by many musicians today.

Hendrix held a net worth of 175 million dollars.

Here are some eccentric quotes from the modest Jimi Hendrix:

1. “It’s funny the way most people love the dead. Once you are dead, you are made for life. You have to die before they think you are worth anything.” – Jimi Hendrix

2. “Even castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually.” – Jimi Hendrix

3. “I don’t have nothing to regret at all in the past, except that I might’ve unintentionally hurt somebody else or something.” – Jimi Hendrix

4. “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” – Jimi Hendrix

5. “In order to change the world, you have to get your head together first.” – Jimi Hendrix

6. “I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.” – Jimi Hendrix

7. “I just hate to be in one corner. I hate to be put as only a guitar player, or either only as a songwriter, or only as a tap dancer. I like to move around.” – Jimi Hendrix

8. “Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.” – Jimi Hendrix

9. “The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye…until we meet again.” – Jimi Hendrix

10. “I used to live in a room full of mirrors; all I could see was me. I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors, now the whole world is here for me to see.” – Jimi Hendrix

jimi-hendrix-success-quote 

11. “We have time, there’s no big rush.” – Jimi Hendrix

12. “Music is stronger than politics. I feel sorry for the minorities, but I don’t feel a part of one.” – Jimi Hendrix

13. “I’m the one that has to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life, the way I want to.” – Jimi Hendrix

14. “You get tired of playing top 40 R&B. I had other ideas.” – Jimi Hendrix

15. “Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.” – Jimi Hendrix

16. “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix

17. “I try to use my music to move these people to act.” – Jimi Hendrix

18. “Imagination is the key to my lyrics. The rest is painted with a little science fiction.” – Jimi Hendrix

19. “If I’m free, it’s because I’m always running.” – Jimi Hendrix

20. “My goal is to be one with the music. I just dedicate my whole life to this art.” – Jimi Hendrix

 

What was your favourite Jimi Hendrix Quote? Leave the quote in the comments section below.

Why Tom Brady Is One of the Most Motivational Athletes in the World

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Tom Brady is the 5-time Super Bowl winning quarterback of the New England Patriots. His ability to come up big in high pressure moments has earned him the comparison to Joe Montana, one of the best “big game” quarterbacks in the history of the NFL.

But it hasn’t been Tom Brady’s passing skills that have helped set him apart from other great NFL quarterbacks. It’s his dedication, preparation and leadership skills. These are qualities that any small business owner, manager or even entry level employees can put into use in their everyday life.

Here is how, and why, Tom Brady has been “motivation goals” since 2001:

Motivation Goal #1: Believe in yourself

Tom Brady was passed on by every NFL team over and over again and was finally picked with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft. For those not familiar with the NFL Draft, it’s seven rounds with about 250 picks each year. To go from the 199th overall pick in the draft to being arguably the greatest player the league has ever seen is completely motivational on its own.

Patriots’ Owner Robert Kraft still recalls the moment he met Tom Brady. After the draft, Tom reported to the Patriots’ rookie camp where he ran into Kraft while exiting the building. He stopped, introduced himself and said, “I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.”

“If you don’t believe in yourself why is anyone else going to believe in you?” – Tom Brady

Motivation Goal #2: Seize every opportunity

Sure, it was Abraham Lincoln who said, “I will prepare and someday my chance will come,” but nobody personified this quote more than the skinny, sixth round pick Tom Brady. In 2001, the New England Patriots starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe was injured by a hit from Mo Lewis of the New York Jets. The hit took Bledsoe out of the game and led Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick to put in his backup, Tom Brady.

Brady won his very first start against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, which if you read the opening, you know is burnt into this writer’s brain for eternity. Needless to say, Brady led the Patriots to a monumental Super Bowl victory that year over the best offense the NFL had ever seen and as they say, “the rest is history.”

Motivation Goal #3: Don’t manage, lead

What sets Brady apart from every other NFL quarterback isn’t his arm or his legs; it’s his ability to lead his team. Any good manager knows that you are only as good as the workers you surround yourself with.

When it comes time to present to your company’s owner what your accomplishments have been for the week/month/year, it’s your employees who got the work done. It was your job to get the most out of them. Like a great manager, Tom Brady demands the most out of his teammates through actions.

Tom is the prototypical “first guy in, last guy out” leader and challenges his receiving corps an offensive lineman to do the same. He is constantly in the film room and trying to find the mental edge over his opponent and when he does, he makes sure all of his teammates are on the same page and will practice tiny nuances over and over in hope of perfecting them.

During the game, nobody gets more fired up than Brady does and this fire is clearly passed along to all of his teammates who take it and run with it. When you talk about a guy you’d go to battle for, Brady is that guy.

Motivation Goal #4: Set your goals and attack them

Tom Brady’s entire career has been one of a phoenix rising from the ashes. He was passed over in college for Drew Henson, but then led Michigan to an Orange Bowl victory. He then took over a starting job in the NFL and in his first year led his team to a Super Bowl win. Then, after an illustrious career, one bad game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014 was all it took to call Brady “done” and “not good anymore” by most mainstream media.

What did Tom Brady do? He went out and led his team to the Super Bowl and won it; for the 4th time. But the most notable time Tom Brady overcame odds and scrutiny was this past season. After serving a 4-game suspension handed down by Roger Goodell, for a highly questionable “guilty” verdict when it came to Deflategate, Brady tore through the Patriots schedule all the way to the Super Bowl where he really had to earn his moment.

With the prize being a deeply satisfying meeting with Roger Goodell on the podium and a Lombardi trophy hand off he could only dream about, Brady defied all odds and won the Super Bowl.

“You have to believe in your process. You have to believe in the things that you are doing to help the team win. I think you have to take the good with the bad.” – Tom Brady

Motivation Goal #5: Perform when the pressure is on

Plain and simple, Tom Brady gets better when the pressure is on. Super Bowl 36, game tied with 1:21 left. Brady leads his team 53 yards down the field to get them into field position for an Adam Vinatieri, game-winning field goal.

Super Bowl 38, game tied with 1:08 left. Brady once again leads his team into field goal position for the game-winning field goal by Vinatieri. Fast forward to this year’s Super Bowl. At halftime, the Patriots were down 25 points. Brady had a pretty bad first half, but when the second half started, it was clear that a different, more determined Tom Brady was on the field.

The Patriots scored 31 unanswered points in the second half and overtime, including 19 points in the 4th quarter alone to tie the game up. When the pressure was on, when it mattered most, Brady once again delivered.

You certainly don’t have to like him, but to not appreciate him is absurd. Tom Brady is a constant inspiration to anyone who enjoys success, and if you are reading this right now, you are most likely addicted to success.

What inspires you the most about Tom Brady? Leave your thoughts below!

If You Can't Hold This Pose For 50 Seconds, You Might Be Prone To Serious Health Problems

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/awxsZWfjQCs/you-cant-hold-this-pose-for-50-seconds-you-might-prone-serious-health-problems

Are you looking for a specific exercise that will provide you with immense fitness and medical benefits? Are you looking for the most efficient exercise to shred your abs, strengthen your core, and improve your posture? If so, the plank exercise is right for you.

Most people think of our abdominal muscles when we discuss our core. These muscles are a significant component, but there are also other muscles that serve an integral role in the strength of our core. The muscles in our lower back, glutes, and hips play an important role to our core as well. Knowing this, we should all embrace the plank exercise because, if you can’t hold this pose for at least 50 seconds, then you might be prone to some serious health problems.[1]

What is the plank exercise?

Before we discuss some of these health concerns, let’s first take a look at what exactly the plank is. Proper form is important for maximizing this exercise. Learning how to perform the plank will help you improve your core, glutes, hamstrings, balance, posture, and overall fitness.

To start a plank, enter the push-up position and hold your body off the ground. You should form and hold a straight line and follow the following steps:[2]

  • Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders; place wrists in line with your elbows.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles, squeeze your glutes and thighs (don’t forget to breath normally).
  • Hold the plank in the proper form. Beginners should shoot for 20-30 seconds; however, your goal should be at least 50 seconds.
  • Avoid dropping your head, shoulders, or hips.

A weak core will lead to poor posture.

Poor posture is a telltale sign of a weak core. You have all seen people with poor posture and there are a multitude of factors that can lead to this. Some of these factors include: stress at home, stress at work, slouching at a desk, and even staring down at your phone.

Our lower back and abdominal muscles assist us in stabilizing our spine. If our muscles are weak, this will cause us to slouch. Here are some quick tips to improve your posture:

  • Perform the plank exercise daily.
  • Stand up straight.
  • Pull your head back and up.
  • Move your cellphone to eye level.
  • Wear a posture belt.

Lower back pain is a telltale sign of a weak core.

A sure sign of weakness in our core is lower back pain. The curvature of our lumbar spine is negatively affected with a weak core. Lower back pain is one of our most common sources of pain.[3]

Failure to improve your core can lead to serious health conditions. Here are a few tips to strengthen your core and lower back: exercise (such as the dynamic lumbar stabilization exercise), improve your posture, sleep in an optimal position, improve your flexibility, and of course, perform the plank exercise.

Poor balance is a sign that you may have a weak core.

If your core muscles are weak, then how do you expect them to stabilize your body? Poor balance is not easy to identify. How we maintain our balance is a function of our senses along with coordinated movement from different areas of our body.[4]

Here is a quick option for a balance test. Use the following steps and test your balance:[5]

  • Step 1: Extend one leg forward.
  • Step 2: Extend the same leg sideways.
  • Step 3: Extend the same leg backwards.
  • Step 4: Flex the same knee at a 90-degree angle.

The inability to hollow your stomach is a sign of a weak core.

An easy sign of a weak core is the inability to perform the stomach hollowing test. When you conduct this exercise, the intent is for your stomach to cave inwards when your abdomen contracts. You do this by taking a natural breath, pulling your abs in toward your spine, and holding it. If you lack the ability to do this, then you possess a weak core. See the image below for a visual representation of this exercise.

Overall weakness in your core muscles will lead to serious health conditions if not properly rectified. One guaranteed exercise that will improve every condition discussed in this article is the plank exercise. The benefits of performing the plank exercise are amazing. Not only will you strengthen your core, but you will also strengthen your lower back and upper body, improve your chances of avoiding injury, significantly improve your posture, and shred your abs!

Most importantly, planks can be done anywhere. You do not need a gym membership, a personal trainer, or any equipment. Heck, do your planks naked if you want! Two things will happen when you embrace the plank – your fitness will improve and so will your overall health.

So, what are you waiting for? Drop right now and start planking!

Featured photo credit: Gymjunkies.com via gymjunkies.com

Reference

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

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/mZcVYGG_sX0/all-seem-worry-about-lot-stuff-because-our-brain-wants-immediate-rewards

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 stocksnap.io

Reference

[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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The Gary Vaynerchuk Guide to Crushing It at Life

Posted from http://addicted2success.com/life/the-gary-vaynerchuk-guide-to-crushing-it-at-life/

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!