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8 Daily Habits to Build Your Mental Strength

Mentally strong people seek strength and fortitude by building themselves up every day.
Casey Imafidon

February 17, 2017

One of the determinants for success and leadership is mental strength. To be a peak performer and attain
excellence in any field, you need desire, effort and discipline. This goes beyond acting tough; you have to
be willing to work hard and persist even in the face of struggles.

Related: 15 Qualities of Mentally Tough People

Mentally strong people are willing to seek strength and fortitude by building themselves up every day.
Here are eight daily habits that can help you build your mental strength.

1. Be willing to learn.
We live in the Information Age, yet not everyone is taking advantage of all the opportunities it presents for
learning. Mentally strong people do not see learning as a tedious process, but as an essential routine to
develop their mental strength. You have to view learning as a way to improve yourself and as a way to
surge ahead in a highly competitive world.

2. Be willing to adapt.
Change is a constant factor in life; you have to learn to deal with it because nothing stays the same. It
takes mental strength to be flexible and adjust to outside circumstances. You cannot afford to play the
blame game or complain about imperfect situations, so learn to work toward solutions regardless of
changing circumstances.

3. Be a giver.
Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of the best-selling book Give and Take, believes that giving is
an essential part of becoming successful. It takes mental strength to give or to want to go the extra mile
for someone without expecting anything in return. Focus on adding value and contributing to the world.

4. Think outside the box.

Mentally strong people forge their own paths. Sometimes you need to be creative and think outside the
box to reach your goalsto get out of your comfort zone or take an unfamiliar route. What is essential is
that you are solution-oriented and see problems as opportunities.

5. Believe in yourself.
If you do not believe in yourself, who will? Its not about what others have to say about you; its what you
have to say about yourself. We all face challenges on a daily basis, but when you are firm and resolute
about your desires, you will achieve the things you want most.
6. Be responsible.
Your successes and failures are on you, not anyone else. Although some people prefer to blame others,
you become mentally strong by admitting errors and taking responsibility for the challenges you face.
Show others what needs to be done instead of retreating in fear, and take pride in overcoming your daily

7. Be self-aware.
The right questions offer the right answers. It takes mental strength to understand your emotions,
strengths and weaknesses. Even when you are having a rough day, you are aware of what you need to
do to find peace. Assessing your emotions and knowing yourself can help you retain a calm attitude even
during times of crisis.

8. Assume control.
In a fast-paced digital world, there are countless distractions. According to Neil Patel, entrepreneur and
digital strategist, We live in a time when we are constantly being marketed to through several media. The
future belongs to those who can assume control. Mentally strong people rise above negative situations
and time-sucking distractions.

How to Use Influence Tactics Like an FBI Agent

Persuasion techniques from the field
Austin Fabel

November 20, 2017

In the world of counterintelligence, there is no room for error. Agents must influence and persuade others
under extremely stressful and sometimes life-or-death circumstances. Using proven psychological
methods, these field-tested experts perform mental ju-jitsu to influence othersoftentimes without the
subject even realizing whats going on.

Related: How to Read People Like an FBI Agent

While the stakes might not be as high in our normal day-to-day lives, the ability to influence and persuade
others is an incredibly valuable skill. And many of these skills used in counterintelligence can be used in
your daily life: salary negotiations with your boss, buying a new house or debating weekend plans with

Four of the fields top experts, from hostage negotiators to spy recruiters, recently sat down with The
Science of Success to share their favorite and most effective influence tacticsthings you can begin
using today to up your level of influence in your own circle.

Disengage their autopilot response.

Chase Hughes, founder of Ellipsis Laboratories and former U.S. Navy correctional and prisoner
management departments

Most people cruise through their day on autopilot. In fact, nearly 50 percent of what you do each day is
done out of habit. You use routines to save brainpower, and you utilize various practices depending on
where you are and who you are with. For instance, you might behave very differently in a room with your
supervisor at work than you would with your friends at home. Once you decide on which role you are
playing, your neurons begin firing in the usual sequence for that scenario, and you often stop being
consciously aware of your behavior.

If you can break someone out of this autopilot mode, their brain will begin searching for information,
making them much easier to persuade. If youre getting a coffee at Starbucks, quickly ask the employee
at the cash register which direction northeast is, Hughes says. They most likely have never been asked
that question before, and it will cause them to go internally into their head and break out of that employee
mode. Its in this moment of time that their brain is grasping for information and you have their focus,
interest and curiosity. This makes an individual much more susceptible to your next statement, question
or command.

Ask better questions.

Chris Kukk, founding director of The Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation, and former U.S.
Army counterintelligence agent

Information is the ammunition of influence. One of the crucial common themes across military
counterintelligence is understanding the other side: their motivations, priorities and goals. The more
information you can collect from the other side, the easier this mental ju-jitsu becomes.

The best way to gather this information is by asking good questions. A great question can bring out the
essence of not just the problem, but of the person experiencing the problem, Kukk says. A closed
question is one that has a very short answer. Its a yes or no or I dont know; a very tight closed way of
answering it. Its short. An open question is a question that is literally limitless. Its wide open. A person
can answer it in many different ways. Theres not one way to do it.

Begin presenting others with open-ended questions where you might normally use a closed one. This will
allow you to gain insight into not only how someone feels, but also why they feel that way, giving you a
peek into their perspective, which can be a very powerful tool in influencing someone.

Related: The Science of Persuasion

Never keep score.

Robin Dreeke, author of The Code of Trust and former U.S. spy recruiter

Sometimes, influencing someone is an incredibly long process. In order to be an effective spy recruiter,
Dreeke developed close relationships with each of the spies he recruited, as well as the subjects he
wished to recruit. By getting to know each of them extremely well, Dreeke was able to relate to them and
help them achieve their goals. When you help someone accomplish something, his or her natural reaction
is to reciprocate.

Understand the other sides priorities, be up front and share your

own, and align yourselves.

This is actually when you have to be careful, according to Dreeke. You cant keep a scorecard. Because
if you do, thats the proof you really did it for you and not them, he says. Its critical that the other side
not feel they are being manipulated or see your actions and interest in them as disingenuous. As soon as
you get into the I did this for you and now you have to do this for me game, youve already lost. I give, I let
go, and I just wait. Usually, everything falls into place.

Understand the other sides priorities, be up front and share your own, and align yourselves. Help them
achieve their goals, and more than likely, theyll help you achieve yours, too.

Repeating and mirroring.

Chris Voss, founder of The Black Swan Group and former FBI hostage negotiator

When many people hear about mirroring they immediately think body language. But thats not always
the case or the most effective strategy. The mirroring a hostage negotiator does is just the repetition of
the last one to three words that someone has said, Voss says. By repeating the last few words in
someone elses sentence, they naturally elaborate more and give up potentially valuable insights.

Heres an example:

Party One: I dont really want to get Chinese for lunch.

Party Two: You dont want Chinese for lunch?
Party One : No, not really. Its super salty, and Im afraid Ill eat too much and be tired all

By simply repeating the last few words of the other partys statement, we learned several new pieces of
information. Party One is health conscious and also may have something going on this afternoon that
requires them to be sharp. This tactic is incredibly simple and can be used on anyone, anywhere.

While most of us are not saving hostages and recruiting spies, these tested tactics from the experts can
have huge impacts on your interactions. Its important to remember that everything in life can be a

Tim Ferriss Brings You Short Life Advice From the Best
in the World
An excerpt from his new book Tribe of Mentors
Tim Ferriss

November 21, 2017

In this excerpt from Tim Ferriss' new book Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World,
Tim shares this advice: Ask a better set of questions. He proceeds to do so with 598 pages packed full of
advice from leaders, entertainers, authors, experts and more.

Two thousand seventeen was an unusual year for me. The first six months were a slow simmer, and then,
within a matter of weeks, I turned 40, my first book (The 4-Hour Workweek) had its 10th anniversary,
several people in my circle of friends died, and I stepped onstage to explain how I narrowly avoided
committing suicide in college.

Truth be told, I never thought Id make it to 40. My first book was rejected 27 times by publishers. The
things that worked out werent supposed to work, so I realized on my birthday: I had no plan for after 40.

Related: Hear Tim Ferriss talk about why a Tribe of Mentors can get you to the next level on
this week's episode of SUCCESS Insider.

As often happens at forks in the pathcollege graduation, quarter-life crisis, midlife crisis, kids leaving
home, retirementquestions started to bubble to the surface.

Were my goals my own, or simply what I thought I should want?

How much of life had I missed from underplanning or overplanning?

How could I be kinder to myself?

How could I better say no to the noise to better say yes to the adventures I craved?

How could I best reassess my life, my priorities, my view of the world, my place in the world, and
my trajectory through the world?

So many things! All the things!

One morning, I wrote down the questions as they came, hoping for a glimmer of clarity. Instead, I felt a
wave of anxiety. The list was overwhelming. Noticing that I was holding my breath, I paused and took my
eyes off the paper.

Then, I did what I often dowhether considering a business decision, personal relationship or
otherwiseI asked myself the one question that helps answer many others

What would this look like if it were easy?

Related: 4 Powerful Questions to Help You Refocus Your Goals

That morning, by journaling on this questionWhat would this look like if it were easy?in longhand, an
idea presented itself. Ninety-nine percent of the page was useless, but there was one seed of a

What if I assembled a tribe of mentors to help me?

More specifically, what if I asked 100+ brilliant people the very questions I want to answer for myself? Or
somehow got them to guide me in the right direction?

And so it began. First, I scribbled down a list of dream interviewees, which started as one page and
quickly became 10. It had to be a list with no limitations: no one too big, too out-of-reach or too hard to
find. Could I get the Dalai Lama? The incredible Temple Grandin? My personal white whale, author Neil
Gaiman? Or Ayaan Hirsi Ali? I wrote out the most ambitious, eclectic, unusual list possible. Next, I
needed to create an incentive to encourage people to respond, so I worked on a book deal. Be in my
book might work. From the outset, I told the publisher that it also might not work, and that Id return the
advance if so.

Then, I started pitching my little heart out.

I sent an identical set of 11 questions to some of the most successful, wildly varied, and well-known
people on the planet with Answer your favorite 3 to 5 questions or more, if the spirit moves you.

After hitting send dozens of times, I clasped my hands to my excited writers chest with bated breath, to
which the universe replied with silence. Crickets.

Related: How to Reframe Your Failures

For 12 to 24 hours, nothing. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. And then, there was a faint
trickle through the ether. A whisper of curiosity and a handful of clarifying questions. Some polite declines
followed, and then came the torrent.

Nearly all of the people I reached out to are busy beyond belief, and I expected I would get short, rushed
responses from a few of them at best. What I got back instead were some of the most thoughtful answers
Id ever received, whether on paper, in person or otherwise. In the end, there were more than 100

Granted, the easy path took thousands of back-and-forth emails and Twitter direct messages, hundreds
of phone calls, many marathons at a treadmill desk, and more than a few bottles of wine during late-night
writing sessions, but it worked. Did it always work? No. I didnt get the Dalai Lama (this time), and at
least half of the people on my list didnt respond or declined the invitation. But it worked enough to matter,
and thats what matters.
[The topic of failure] is particularly important to me. Humans are imperfect creatures. The superheroes
you have in your mind (idols, icons, elite athletes, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws whove
maximized one or two strengths. Here are three fascinating answers to this question:

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do
you have a favorite failure of yours?

Eric Ripert, chef

At about 15, I was kicked out of school for poor performance and told that I would need to find a vocation.
I remember sitting next to my mother, across from the headmaster, trying to look sad, but internally I was
delighted! From a very young age, I had a passion for eating that I learned in my mothers kitchen. This
failure meant I could attend culinary school at last! Vocational school led to training under some of the
greatest chefs, which led to me becoming the chef that I am today, living my passion.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, actor and director

I started working as an actor when I was 6. I quit at 19 to go to college, but when I tried to get back into it,
I couldnt get a job. I spent a year auditioning and failing. It was painful. I had visions of never getting to
do it again, which genuinely terrified me.

I did a lot of thinking. What exactly was I scared of? What would I be missing if I never got another acting
job? I never really liked the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, so it wasnt that. At that time, Id never even
cared all that much what other people thought of the movies and shows I got to be in. Mostly, I just loved
doing it. I loved the creative process itself, and I realized I couldnt let my ability to be creative depend on
somebody else deciding to hire me. I had to take matters into my own hands.

Related: 5 Ways Successful People Take Control of Life

I came up with my own little metaphorical mantra for this, something Id think to myself when I needed
encouragement, and that was hit record. Id always played around with my familys video cameras, and
the red REC button became a symbol for my conviction that I could do it on my own. I taught myself to
edit video and started making little short films and songs and stories.

My brother helped me set up a tiny website where Id put up the things Id made, and we called it
HITRECORD.ORG. That was 12 years ago. Since then, HITRECORD has grown into a community of
more than half a million artists around the world. Weve made all kinds of incredible things together, paid
people millions of dollars, and won prestigious awards, but for me, the heart of it is still the same: the love
of creativity for its own sake. Its that thing I had to find 12 years ago, dead in the thick of self-loathing,
sloth-inducing, throat-sore-from-screaming failure.

Arianna Huffington, media personality

One of my favorite failures, which was actually a collection of many smaller failures, was when my
second book was rejected by 37 publishers. I remember running out of money and walking, depressed,
down St. James Street in London, where I was living at the time. I looked up and saw a Barclays Bank
and, without giving it much thought, I decided to walk in and asked to speak to the manager. I asked him
for a loan, and even though I didnt have any assets, the bankerwhose name was Ian Bellgave it to
me. It wasnt much, but it changed my life because it meant I could keep things together for a few more
rejections, and after number 37, I finally got my book published. And I still send Ian Bell a holiday card
every year.

My mother taught me that failure is not the opposite of success but a steppingstone to success.

At a Loss for Words? 10 Ways to Master the Art of Small

You really dont have to talk about the weather.

June 7, 2017

Ah, small talk. The cringe-worthy part of conversations that usually ends with an awkward silence.
Whether youre at a networking event or just meeting a new group of friends, ditch the So, what do you
do? or Nice weather were having, dont you think? questions and opt for something more meaningful.

Related: 15 Tips to Get Better at Small Talk

For the smartest conversation tips, we reached out to the Young Entrepreneur Council. This is what they

1. Relax and be present in the conversation.

Rather than try to plan what you will say next, relax and focus on what the other person is actually
saying. Listen. Be present in the conversation and the other person will notice. They will feel appreciated,
and the conversation will flow naturally.

Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS

2. Read a lot.
The more you read, the more trivia or facts you pick up that can turn into conversation material. It can be
online or in books and journals, but it can help drive a conversation with someone you dont know much

Angela Ruth, Due

3. Be interested in things to be interesting.

I find people have nothing to say because they dont seem to have any interests. That makes them
uninteresting. However, people with hobbies and interests always seem to have a topic or an opinion to
share, and they can use that as a launching point to get someone else involved in the discussion.

Murray Newlands, Sighted

4. Ask thoughtful questions, and then follow up.

I despise small talk, but I love to connect with new people and learn about them because there is always
something interesting to glean. If you actually care, it will show. Ask thoughtful questions and really listen
to the answers. Then ask great follow-up questions based on their response. Your boring small talk chat
will quickly evolve into something meaningful.

Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40

5. Ask questions and listen.

People love to talk about themselves. Ive gotten a lot of great business information by just listening to
what people have to say, whether its work-related or not. Often, its about reading between the lines and
listening to what theyre not saying to get a good understanding of the type of person they are, what they
want and how I can supply that need.

Duran Inci, Optimum7

6. Ask about a persons life, not their job.

I never ask someone what they do anymore. Instead, I ask how they spend their time. Questions like this
one open the door to more interesting conversations. If the persons initial response is work-related, I
follow up with, What do you do when youre not working? Just keep asking questions and share
comments that relate their story to yours.

Mamie Kanfer Stewart, Meeteor

7. Learn their story.

I have found that it helps to ask questions about the person youre talking with. Everyone has a story to
tell, and if you enable them to tell it through asking questions, you will not only master small talk, but start
the process of building a strong and meaningful relationship.

David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

8. Externalize your focus.

Ask questions, respond to the answers, and if you ever run out of things to say, make a comment about
the architecture, artwork on the walls, a bird singing outside, whatever. The world is rich with things to talk
about if you can stop worrying and move your center of focus away from your own mental and emotional
Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

9. Share something very honest.

If you want to make small talk bigger, share something thats very honest about a topic pertinent to
you. When you let down your guard, youre more likely to have more genuine and productive
conversations that turn into meaningful connections and not just another business card for the drawer.

Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

10. Find common ground.

Try to find something that you have in common with the person and your interest will be genuine. Look for
anything: hometown, college, sports, dogs. Try to identify something about the person you are talking with
that you can relate to; this will make small talk easier and you will come across more genuine.

Being Deaf Doesnt Define Me

Susan Lacke

November 22, 2017

I spent the last two years writing a book for my publisher, which required near-daily communication with
my editor, proofreaders and publicists. We mostly talked about the book, but also of weekend plans or
current events or must-try ice cream flavors. I considered these people my friends, and yet two years into
our relationship, I divulged something I probably should have brought up on day one:

Uh, so Im deaf.

Wait, what? Like you cant hear?

Pretty much, yeah.

You might think that would be an awkward conversation to have, and you would be right.

Related: The Dos and Donts of Tough Conversations

When you meet me, right from the second I say hello, its the most obvious thing about me: Im deaf. I
have been since 2 years old, when a virus killed off the nerve endings in my ears, rendering me unable
to hear. I wear a hearing aid, but it doesnt do much in the way of amplification. I rely on lip-reading. I
speak the way I hear, so every new conversation partner cocks their head like a springer spaniel, trying to
place the foreign country behind my heavy accent.

When people cant remember my name, they refer to me as the deaf one, and everyone instantly knows
its me. Its never the writer, the professor, the triathlete or even the one with the brown hair. I would
kill to be the one with the brown hair. But no, its the deaf one. That is the quickest point of reference.
To the world, thats who I am.
And for most people, interacting with the deaf one is a thing: As soon as they realize my accent is from
Deaflandia, and not Ukraine, their whole demeanor changes. They talk loudly and slowly, with made-up
sign language and the grossly simplistic language meant for a cognitive disability rather than a hearing
one. At a faculty party one year, a colleagues spouse asked which professor was my husband.

Actually, I said proudly, Im the professor.

Oh, she smiled, shifting to a slower, exaggerated speech pattern: Thats wonderful! They let someone
like you join the department!

Let others see that you are so much more than the simple category
they put you in. Go forth and be awesome.

And then there are the questions. There are so many questions: Can you hear what Im saying? (I
cannot.) Do you know sign language? (I do not.) Then how do you communicate? (What do you think
were doing right now?)

And yet, for two years, not a single one of my colleagues knew me as the deaf one. I wrote a whole
book, went through the painstaking editorial process and developed a plan for the launch. Then I got an
email from my publicist, asking if I was available to call in to a podcast to do an interview about the book.

Oh. Heh. About that

Related: The Secrets of Being Authentic (and Why Its Important)

Isnt modern technology amazing? These days, almost every conversation takes place via keyboard or
touchscreen, and no one really thinks to dial a phone anymore. Think about the last five people you
emailed. Can you recall the sound of their voice? Have you even heard the sound of their voice?
Probably not. And Id venture to guess thats not the only thing missing in your mental picture. What else
dont you know about the people behind that email address?

I didnt hide my deafness from the people I worked with. Im not clever enough for that, and honestly, that
level of surreptitiousness just sounds exhausting. No, the reason no one knew I was deaf is that it never
came up. It wasnt relevant to the book, no one ever asked me to give them a call and there are few
reasons for in-person meetings in the publishing world. Until the podcast came up, it just never crossed
my mind.

If theres one thing Ive learned from being the deaf one, its that if I
dont make it a thing, neither will most people. I simply carry on, and
when I do, they eventually see me as Susan Lacke.

You see, you may know me as the deaf one, but I know myself as Susan Lacke. Im a writer, a
professor, a triathlete and so much more. My hearing aid is just as much a part of me as a kneecap or
fingernailI dont think about them very much, much less talk about them. Do I need to inform you of my
dry cuticles, too?

Chances are youve got something, too: your gender, the fact that you didnt go to college, having a
certain last name, not having a certain last name, a birthmark on your face. Whatever it is, people know
you as the ______ one. Its easy to believe that the thing people notice is the thing that defines us.

And yet its not. If theres one thing Ive learned from being the deaf one, its that if I dont make it
a thing, neither will most people. I simply carry on, and when I do, they eventually see me as Susan
Lacke. (Oh, by the way, Susans deaf. See? Its a footnote, not a headline.)

The thing that people notice is not the thing that defines you. Carry on with your footnote, and let others
see that you are so much more than the simple category they put you in. Go forth and be awesome.

And when you do, let me know. I cant wait to hear all about it. Via email, of course.

Following Your Dreams Isnt Foolish

Brendon Burchard
November 17, 2017

Sometimes your dreams for living a great life and having more personal freedom can seem so far away.
Yet, no matter where you are on the path, never let your small beginnings make you small-minded. When
people express that your ambitions are impossible, keep going. When your dreams dont come true
instantaneously, remember it is through struggle, effort and desire that you get from here to there.
Related: The 4 Essentials of Achievement

Following your dreams isnt foolish; whats foolish is not believing in your dreams and following other
peoples path instead of your own. You become who you want to become by enacting habits that move
you forward every day. The choices and practices you make in life are the building blocks that build a
better reality.

Often, you dont even know whats possible until youve marched toward your dream; only with
momentum does the path reveal itself and the goal get clearer. Epiphanies come as you move
toward something that matters.

No matter how small you start, start something that matters.

Never let your current conditions or circumstances limit your vision or actions. Never let your current skill
set limit your belief of what is possible for you or what youre capable of. Wherever you are today, you
can develop new habits to get you to your dream.

Success and fulfillment come from your unflagging ability to believe in what other people call
impossible. Chase your dreams, believe in yourself, and you will start to experience incredible levels of
engagement and enthusiasm with life. No matter how small you start, start something that matters.

Success Takes Time and Hard WorkFollow These 5

Steps to Stick With It to the End
Debra DiPietro

February 2, 2016

We live in an immediate gratification kind of society. If we want a cup of coffee, we drive through
Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. So why should the idea of being successful be any different?

We wish for and admire those who have achieved overnight success. We attempt the path of least
resistance when it comes to achieving success; we even look for the latest get-rich-quick scheme, or pray
and hope for somebody to discover us. We live in America, after allrags-to-riches stories are part of our
culture. Right? Maybe not

There are people who really do have a spark. They get a great idea and decide to go for it. But they
ultimately fail, only because they do not stick with it long enough for their endeavor to succeedthey did
not see it through to the end.

Related: The 7 Reasons We Fail

I have learned, from the many biographies I have read of famous athletes, entrepreneurs, inventors,
scientists, artists, that success most certainly does not happen quickly. In fact, it usually took many years
of dedication and hard work to achieve the level of success that these people enjoyed.

I especially love the story of Colonel Sanders. At age 65, Colonel Harland Sanders went around to many
restaurants to share his fried chicken recipe. It took more than 1,000 nos before he got a yes. But now
everybody knows what finger lickin good means.

As a blogger and a writer, I have personally learned that success takes time, hard work, and just plain
stick-to-it-ness. Have you ever noticed on the web that there are a lot of dead blogs out there (according
to the International Bloggers Association, approximately 95 percent of bloggers quit)? They are in the
blog graveyard along with their deceased Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. It is kind of sad, really. All
of these blogs started with excitement. They started with purposeful energy. Now they are just gone.

I started my blog, The Warm Milk Journal, back in February 2010 while working full time as an elementary
school teacher and raising two teenagers. It would have been easy, really easy, to quit.

But six years into my blogging journey, I am happy to report that I am still going strong.

My blog has opened up so many doors for me that would have remained closed if I had quit. I discovered
a new career in social media strategy and writing; I have met and befriended people and companies from
all around the globe; I have found my voice and confidence; and most importantly, I have found a
meaningful way to help people.

Related: 5 Ways Blogging Changed My Professional Life

I may not know you personally, but I will bet there is something inside you that is stirring and wants to get
out. Perhaps it is a business you want to start or a new degree you want to go back to school for and
finish. It might be a creative project or something for your employer that will really help your company and
your career. Perhaps you simply want to improve your financial prospects or be in a position to be an
agent for positive change in your community.

How do we accomplish these things? We train, of course!

We are going to set a course for finishing a marathonwhich can be a 26-mile race, or any contest,
event, or the like, of greater than normal length or duration or requiring exceptional endurance (according
to Dictionary.com).

The million dollar question is this: How do you stick with it (whatever it is) long enough to succeed?
These five steps can help you cross the finish line of this marathonand you will see your idea through.

1. Find the passion.

Embark on this project only if you are passionate about it, because its passion that energizes you for the
long-haul. If not, you will inevitably tire of it and probably will not stay with it.

2. Know your why.

Why are you doing this? For me, writing in my journal helps clarify why it is important to me. Ask yourself,
how will your idea impact your life? Your career? How will it help others? Your family?

3. Write out a plan.

The best intentions can get lost if we dont have a roadmap to follow. Write out a business plan for your
idea that includes tangible action steps. Make them specific. Give them a timeframe.

4. Make it a daily habit.

Sometimes to make our big plans and dreams come true, we have to fit them into whatever else we have
going on in our lives. You have to find a way to incorporate this plan into your daily life so that it becomes
as routine as brushing your teeth.

I did this with my blogging. I got up early in the morning and wrote during my coffee time instead of
reading the newspaper. I gave myself just enough time to write a post and get ready to go to work. And I
did this for years. Now my routine is to write and blog in the early evening when I get home from my day
job and before it is time to make dinner (and thankfully I have an understanding husband, for often we eat
dinner pretty late due to my writing projects).

5. Stick with it.

Have the big picture in mind. What are you aspiring to do? Dont let anything or anybody discourage you.
Just do it. Eventually, if you keep the end goal in mind, you will get there. You really will! And when you
do, it will be so worth it.
The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground. Author Unknown

TED Talks: Success Is a Continuous Journey

January 25, 2017

For years, there has been a huge magnifying glass on how to reach success. Everyone wants to know
the latest tips and tricks on how to get there. But when you finally get to the top, how do you stay there?

If success is a perceivable destination in your mind, almost like a set of coordinates signaling the end of a
road trip, you might be going about success the wrong way. In this TED Talk, success analyst Richard St.
John shares what success really isand how to keep it.

Related: 8 Secrets of Success

Reaching success, I worked hard, I pushed myself, he says. But then I stopped, because I figured, Oh,
you know, I made it. I can just sit back and relax.

But when St. Johns business hit rock bottom, he had to shift his mindset. He started from the beginning,
going back to the eight principles that led to his success:


I learned that success isn't a one-way street And if we want to avoid "success-to-failure-syndrome, we
just keep following these eight principles, because that is not only how we achieve success, it's how we
sustain it.

6 Daily Practices of Great Leaders

Brendon Burchard
May 19, 2017

Maybe youre leading a team, in charge of a large organization or youre just trying to lead your own
life. What is it that leaders actually do?

This was my graduate school work. In 2001, I wrote a book called The Student Leadership Guide. I never
had any clue that thing would blow up the way that it has. This framework for leadership is called E-6. It
answers that question: What are the major practices of leadership that we must enact on a continual
basis to be able to have the amount of influence and impact we desire, in our work lives or any role in
which were leading other people?

Related: 5 Ways to Increase Your Influence

Lets get right into it.

Practice 1: Envision
Great leaders envision a compelling, different and vibrant future than whats here. They have an
alternative, clear view of what the world could be like tomorrow than it is today. They have a shared
purpose. They believe that they and others would be compelled by, interested in, inspired by and want to
work toward it, and thats a big deal.

Youve read that in leadership, you have to have a vision. Its biblical; where there is no vision, people
perish. We know the power of having that vision, so you have to sit down and actually do it.

The reason we say envision versus just have a vision is because its a practice of envisioning. What
should tomorrow look like for my team? What should tomorrow be like for my business or organization?
What should tomorrow be like for my life?

And not just tomorrow, but a long-term mindset and view, the dream, that magnificent obsession, that
bold desire, the moon-shot goals and purposes and missions of lifethe bigger picture.

Thats envisioning a different reality in the future than we experience today. And thats why everybody
gets excited about leadership. Where theres no vision, theres no leadership. Where theres no vision,
people perish, so we have to envision.

By the way, I say that these are six practices of leadership and not six steps, because its not like you
envision once and then you move on in the process. We always have to continually sit down and envision
where we are and where we can be going. Its an active process.

If you set a vision one time and forget about it, its not going to help you accomplish the influence or
impact that you want.

Practice 2: Enlist
As youre developing this vision, remember that its not just your vision. Youre enlisting other people to
share their voices, their perspective, their dreams and desires for where you could be going.

I think the most important leadership lesson in the world is that people support what they create. If people
are involved in the ideation of a vision, theyre involved in creating ideas, brainstorming, figuring out what
it is we are about.

What do we stand for? Where are we going? Great leaders enlist that from other people; theyre
constantly asking people what they think, how they feel, what things they desire and need.
A great leader is always enlisting other people to believe in the dream, shape the dream, stay dedicated
to the dream. Its an honest and authentic and genuine desire to see other people be involved in the
process and to enjoy that process.

Youre asking questions. Youre paying attention to their needs. Youre reflecting back to things youre
hearing. Youre always enlisting others to support and build this vision, this ideal future, together.

Related: 7 Personality Traits of a Great Leader

Practice 3: Embody
Leaders stand for something. There is a congruence between who they are, the behaviors theyre
enacting into the world, how they treat people, what theyre working toward and what they say is
important. Its integrity. Theres nothing more important is there? You dont believe the message unless
you believe the messenger.

As leaders, we have to stand for and demonstrate and show and portray what we really believe in. Is our
team and people around us seeing us work for it, sweat for it, sacrifice for it, champion it over and over,
even when its hard, even when theres conflict, even when people are pissed and want to quit?

Are you still there? Do you still stand for it? If you do, then youll become a legend.

Practice 4: Empower
Empowerment means giving people the decision-making authority and trust to be able to work toward this
vision. It means allowing them the autonomy, strength and input. It means equipping them with the
knowledge, skills, abilities, technology, tools and training to allow them to succeed as they march with us
to achieve something extraordinary and phenomenal.

Thats vital. Thats what empowerment is about.

Many leaders come in with a big vision, get everyone excited and seem like they want everybody
involved. They do a great job of standing for it, but they dont equip their teams to kick some butt. They
never get to that place of real stride, real momentum.

Training other people and equipping them with everything they need to succeed is a vital practice of every
great leader. It doesnt happen just once.

Thats a huge failure in the working world, especially in corporate America:

Great leaders come in.

They nail the vision.
They get people around it.
They stand for something.
But they only empower people at the beginning. They give some training and then they just disappear.
Training has to be consistent. Coaching has to be consistent. Equipping people to deal with the new
challenges, the new tools, new technologies and competitive realities, thats vital. We have to have that in

Related: 5 Things Strong Leaders Do

Practice 5: Evaluate
Evaluation is one of the hardest things we do in leadership. To evaluate the key people who are with us,
their contributions. To evaluate their skills, needs and the ethics that are going on in our organization, in
our team.

Were evaluating on these questions:

Are we being excellent?

Are we being ethical?
Are we being excellent and ethical as we are progressing?
Are we progressing? If not, why?
Are we being ethical? If not, why?
Are people being excellent? If not, why?

We have to ask these questions. This takes practice. You have to keep your thumb on the pulse to see
how we are doing. Are we alive? Are we moving forward?

That evaluation also brings up the incredible challenge that we face as leaders, which is to give honest,
direct, immediate, constructive feedback to those who are trying to influence and leadto our
collaborators, friends and followers. Its vital that we are paying attention and seeing when things are
going off the rails. We can never check out. Evaluation is a consistent process of checking in and seeing
how were doing and paying attention, to measure the progress of our mission.

Practice 6: Encourage
Encourage. Be the champion. Be the cheerleader. Be the person always motivating, inspiring and
uplifting people.

Many leaders have pet projects that they get excited about it, and then those projects just disappear. You
need to encourage on a continual basis. You need to light people up.

You need to have it in your heart and in your soul, that desire to want to lift people up, to get them up off
their butts, to get them excited about things. If you cant motivate them with your passion and example,
then what are we doing?

You have to encourage people when this gets hard. When youre working toward a mission, it gets hard.
Longer term, the more people involved, the bigger the organization, the bigger the vision, the bigger the
dream, the longer the duration to accomplish it, the more struggle, more challenge, more conflict, more
discord, more disappointment, more frustration, more doubt, more delay.
All those things happen and leaders have to deal with it by always being that encouraging voice. When
the chips are down and it looks most bleak, youre still that beam of light. When it gets dark. When it gets
challenging. When theres conflict, turmoil and turbulent seas, youre solid.

Never stop being the voice of positivity. Youre somebody they know they can go to because youre
always going to turn a negative into a positive. Youre always going to help them see the alternative you,
the next step. Youre going to champion people. Youre going to champion the mission and the cause.

Thats leadership. The six Es: Envision, Enlist, Embody, Empower, Evaluate, Encourage.

What overlays all of this is a philosophy about what were doing. That its important to us; that theres
a purpose, a mission to it that we feel deeply within us is so powerful; and we honor, respect and love
those we work with.

Now its not just you the leader, but its a group of us. We are the movers and shakers who are shaping
and making this mission happen every single day. We love to work together. We have fun.

Now people are standing up and they are helping come up with a vision. They are championing and
cheering on, bringing in and enlisting other people. They are standing up for something. Theyre living
that value and truth. They are empowering other people and championing the cause. They are your eyes
and ears, evaluating how the organization or mission is going. They are encouraging it so it doesnt just
ride on your shoulders.

When we do that right then we have this thing called leadership.

Ep. 90: Tim Ferriss Tribe of Mentors


November 21, 2017

This episode is sponsored by Gusto and Slack.

On this weeks episode, we sit down with the venerable Tim Ferriss, from the Tim Ferriss Showpodcast
and author of the new book Tribe of Mentors. He shares the why behind his new bookhow he had
questions when he turned 40 and wanted the advice of the best experts out there. We visit the archives to
hear from one of the all-time great leaders and coaches, John C. Maxwell. And Josh and Shelby discuss
how you can find the right mentors for your goals and aspirations.
It can be hard to find mentors in todays busy world, but these important people dont have to be in your
immediate circle. A few of Ferrisss favorite mentors are no longer around but left a huge impact on his life,
such as:
o Benjamin Franklin
o Richard Feynman
o Seneca the Younger

Ferriss says 2017 has been a challenging year, but even in the challenges, he found hidden opportunities.
Heres the approach he took:

o Focus on improving.
There are points in the road where you can choose to improve or decline. Its not as
though you can just coast in neutral through life. Youre either getting better or youre
getting worse.

o Get the success blueprint.

I said, You know, lets make the first year for me of this new decade [of turning 40], the
year of getting better. Perhaps the most elegant way to do that is to go find people who
are already doing it and to figure out what their recipes and blueprints are.

You can purchase Ferrisss new book, Tribe of Mentors, which includes wisdom from people like Jimmy
Fallon, Maria Sharapova and Ben Stiller, right here.

Favorite quote from this episode:

Why not then, instead of reinventing the wheel, just borrow different routines and belief systems and
habits and thinking frameworks from people whove already done all the testing?

Tim Ferriss

The 4 Essentials of Achievement

Brendon Burchard
February 24, 2017

People ask me, How do you know if someone is going to succeed? Are there components to
achievement? How do you know if they are going to do a good job, if real achievement is going to
happen, if theres going to be progress toward something?

In other words, what are the building blocks to achievement?

I dont think Im the first person to take a shot at this. This is what the entire self-help, personal
development, professional development, continuing education market is all about. That simple
question: What can we do to have more success and achievement in our lives?

Related: TED Talks: 8 Secrets of Success

Ive learned from so many of the greats out there; Im a product of this industry more than anything else.
Im one of its worst students, but I try really hard.

So what is it? What does it take to succeed? Here are the four cornerstones of achievement:

1. Desire
Im not the first person to say it, but the first thing we have to have to achieve anything is desire. We have
to want it.

You have to be hungry to succeed. You have to have a deep desire to move the needle of your life
forward. You have to have a desire for a dream, for a mission, for a cause, for something you believe in
thats pulling you forward because you care about it so much.

A lot of people say, I dont care about anything. Is there a worse place to be in life when you just have
desire for nothing? Isnt that ultimately where we fall into suffering, depression, loneliness?

Some people say, I have no desire, as if theyre a victim. Can you believe that? They act like its the
fault of the world; well nobody gave me the desire for anything.

Maturity and enlightenment in life demands we decide:

Who do I want to be in life?

What is it I want my life to stand for?
What is it I desire to go after?

Some people say, I just dont know, I dont have any vision for my life, so I dont have that desire. Youre
never going to have any vision for your life unless you go see the world. You have to get outside of your
house, get away from the computer, and go into the world and say, Whats this about? What are people
there doing?

To have vision for yourself, sometimes you have to experience a bunch of different things to know what
you really care for, to sample different things and say, This is what I like, this is what I want.

You might not always know it, and no one wakes up in the morning knowing their purpose. Desire is built
on experience. Desire is built on exposure to things. So go explore the world, read books, ask people
what they do and see whats out there.

We have to have desire. We have to be hungry for achievement and success, not just to have
achievement and success. Not just for the ends of that experience of money, wealth, status, fame, power,
satisfaction and pride. Those things will come, but we have to have the desire for that journey, to grow
into the type of person who deserves such a lofty goal. To grow into the person who would deserve the
experience of those things, to really desire that journey.

Related: TED Talks: Success Is a Continuous Journey

I desire the struggle, the challenge and the hardship of life thats going to make me a better
person. I dont shy away from the stormy seas and sit at a harbor watching life go by, thinking, Oh
boy hopefully someday I can

If you cant do it for yourself, cultivate desire to serve, desire to give something extraordinary to the
people around you, to take care of your family, to take you and your family up to another level of joy and
significance and feeling and abundance in your life.

Its not about having desire to gain wealth, but maybe that is true. Desire of wealth doesnt necessarily
mean greed, because theyre two different things. I desire the wealth of health. I desire the wealth
of meaningful relationships. I desire all the riches of those softer sides of life, love, compassion, kindness,
connection, contribution, consciousness. I desire those things.

Once you have desire for something, you will work for ityou want it, you desire it, youre excited about it.
If you have no enthusiasm, its because you havent targeted something and said, Im going to work
toward that thing. Im going to work toward not only achieving that thing, but also becoming a better
person along the way. I think thats what gives us great desire.

I desire to develop greater knowledge, skills, ability and talents in my life, so that not only can I feel that
sense of mastery, but that sense of contribution. By honing those skills, the knowledge, the tools and
talents, I know I can serve and make a better difference. By becoming a better person in my own life, I
know Im a better man for my wife. I know Im a better man for my family. Im a better son. Im a better
brother. Im a better leader. Im a better contributor, I hope, for you. I desire that and that gets me going.

2. Direction
You might have that desire. Many people do. It might be to lose weight or quit smoking, or to learn a new
skill set, build a business or make money. Whatever the desire is, that ultimate ambition or purpose, goal
or mission, you have to have a direction. How do you get there?

A lot of people have a lot of desire, but they wont do the hard work that demands learning to stretch their
competency, to get direction from other people. To chase down how other people have done something,
to model others, to mimic their steps and the strategies they followed, to learn from others so that we
know the path. To say, Hey guys, this is what I want to achieve. How can I do it? Is there a class I can
take or a book I can read? Is there a webinar I can attend? Is there a course I can take online? Is there
somebody here who can mentor me? Is there somebody who has achieved this where I can read their

In Montana we have this saying: The time to have the map is before you enter the woods. A lot of
people right now in their life feel lost, restless, frustrated, and often its because they never got direction at
the beginning of the journey. They just wandered into some big field of opportunity and wandered around,
and now theyre struggling. Theyre upset and frustrated, and dont know where to go because they never
said, Hey everybody, does anyone have a map for achieving this thing?

They just do what our culture, at least here in North America, celebrates, which is this: They had an idea
and desire and they did what? They threw stuff at the wall to see if it stuck. They just tried without any
knowledge, information or wisdom gathering. If you have a desire, go out and interview people on how to
have that, to achieve that or to accomplish that. Ask lots of questions. Be a student of life. Even experts
are always students first.

Im so unbelievably happy with where my career is, what I get to do and how I get to serve people. All
around the world, Im asked to come speak on motivation, high performance, leadership, marketing in
business. All day long, Im asked to do these things. Im honored and thrilled by it. Im seen in my career
as one of the leaders of what I do. I appreciate and love that, but I always say, Im just a student, man.
Here, let me share all the lessons Ive learned. Have you read this book? Have you done this course? Go
follow this person over there. Im always curating all the content in my area, not just so I know whats
going on, but to continually provide me fresh new direction, new ideas, new strategies to continue moving
me toward my desires.

Im never complete. None of us are; were always learning. So if you really desire something, you need a
map. You need to get direction.

Related: Answer 6 Questions to Reveal Your Life Purpose

3. Discipline
You will have to work and be more consistent than youve ever imagined possible if youre going to make
your ultimate desires come true.

How easy is it not to be disciplined?

Its like I always say, When you knock on the door of opportunity, it is work that answers.

You need a high level of discipline each and every single day. You need to set up repeated habits,
repeated methods and practices in your life that you do over and over again to move you toward your
desire. You need to check in on them to make sure you have the right direction, because if youre
disciplined toward the wrong direction, youre distracted.

If you want to master any area of your life, you need to work at it consistently. If youre just doing it
occasionally, not only do you risk becoming just a dabbler in life, but you absolutely ensure your inability
to accomplish mastery and long-term growth and success and achievement in your life.

Discipline is required. You dont see any high-level achieving person in any area who doesnt have an
extraordinary amount of self-discipline. They are absolutely committed to their habits and practices that
positively support them on the path to their desires.

Sit down tonight with a pen and paper and say, OK, what discipline could I set up in my life that Im going
to do consistently?

Every day Im going to study these things.

Every day Im going to try these things.
Every day Im going to ask these types of questions.
Every day Im going to try to be this type of person.
Whatever it is for you, set it up as a discipline and try to meet that every single day. Thats where a lot of
achievement comes from.

A lot of achievement looks easy and people say, Theyre so lucky. A lot of people watch my videos and
send in messages all day long, Brendon youre so good on video. You have gotten so good at this. I
say, "Thanks, Im still working at it. Im still a student. Im still trying.

What they dont see is Ive tried this so many times. Im able to do that now because Ive trained myself
with discipline to be able to speak extemporaneously. I started in college and the first time I spoke in front
of people, I threw up because I was so nervous. I was terrified to talk. I thought, If Im going to make a
difference in the world, then Im going to have to learn to become a master communicator. Im going to
have to be dedicated toward that.

I have discipline to get present for the people around me. As soon as I see someones eyes, I remind
myself, Be present, Brendon. Its a constant challenge and discipline for me to remind myself to be
present, to be engaged, to be connected, to be interested in other people, to learn from them, to respect
them and love them.

Discipline is not a negative thing; its a joyful habit of pursuing your dreams. Thats why Ive gotten good
at the things I care about.

4. Distraction Radar
The last piece requires a lot of discipline, too. The last component that is critical to be able to predict if
you will succeed or others will succeed is so simple, but it is powerful: You must have a distraction radar.

You must be fantastic about managing distraction, because everything is going to get in your way. Other
people will give you their agenda, emergencies and needs. The world will throw this emergency, this
challenge, this problem. The world will toss in front of you 300 new emails or 1,000 new posts to read.

Theres so much to be consumed by, but your job is to have that desire. Your job is to have direction on
how to get there. Your job is about discipline and working toward it and so much of that commitment
today means minimizing and removing distraction. Get rid of it.

Most of us are distracted three to five hours a day. The average American watches four hours of TV a
day, and that time over the course of the average adult American life span is somewhere around 13 years
of their life, 24/7 in front of a TV. What do you think about that? They lost more than a decade of their life.
At an average salary, theyve lost nearly $1 million of potential earning power. But even if its not about
money, think about the reality that they lost 13 years of life, of exploring new places, learning new
languages, talents and skills, of giving, of creating, of being with their loved ones or mentoring their
children. For what? For four hours of distraction.

Maybe TV isnt your drug. For many people, their drug is the computer. I call it browser blackout, where
they start watching this thing and that thing and I know its dangerous me telling you this, because
maybe this is your distraction for the day. I get it.
I hope if youre watching me, it becomes a purposeful habit to grow your mind, to refuel your
motivation and keep yourself on the right path in life. Choose to watch me; dont just randomly bump into
me. I want you to stay disciplined on your path of learning. I want not to be a distraction, but to be
somebody whos empowering people with better direction, to refuel their desire, to re-aim who they are
and what theyre about.

So you have to choose to consume the right things, the things that are going to support you on your path
to success. If youll do that, youll get a decade of your life back. Just by removing four hours of

How do you do that? You wake up in the morning and say

What do I desire today?

What is my direction, what am I going to do today?
How am I going to be disciplined today?
What distractions can I remove from my life?

Thats when you start feeling as if you have progress in your life. Thats when you start feeling like, Wow,
Im knocking off these steps to get toward my idea!

Thats when you start to feel like youre really moving forward in life.

Life becomes more energized and engaged. Youre more enthusiastic for tomorrow because you
know you control your destiny. You know what youre after, and internally you feel such a magnificent
spark and fire each and every day.

Thats how we experience the charged life.