Breaking Bad … Habits: Beliefs That Stifle Personal Growth

The path to positive change is often spearheaded by a crisis. When everything feels like it is spinning out of control, you’re more likely to finally pay attention. And while no one wants to endure hardships, those times can be teaching moments that help you determine what’s truly important in life.

By giving you a healthy dose of perspective, even a seemingly gloomy situation may just be your next opportunity for growth and the development of new skills.

The message here: It’s helpful to scrutinize your beliefs every once in a while, in order to see yourself and the world in a new light. You’ll find that re-examining what makes you tick is an extraordinary workout for your mind and provides you the focus to become a better person, leader, business owner, parent and friend. We are all creatures of habit, but we can easily get stuck in a rut of negativity that stagnates our spirit.

“Break up” with the beliefs that no longer serve you.

Over a lifetime, you accumulate memories and experiences that can do one of two things. They can be a comfort to you and propel you through life with optimism. But some of them also have the potential to hold you back and prevent you from attaining real happiness.

Have your beliefs helped you acquire a positive view of the world and your place in it? Or, are they rooted in negative thoughts that hold you back from real happiness? If the latter is true for you, you’re not alone.

Your belief system provides a core set of values to live by. These values define how you think and act and how you expect others to respond to you. Essentially, these beliefs emanate from experiences you’ve had throughout life with family, friends, work associates, even complete strangers. Each one of these beliefs conveys a message that takes hold in your mind and permeates your sense of self and your sense of ethics.

It’s not easy to redefine what you believe. But without performing a “housecleaning” at regular intervals throughout life, you may find it difficult to identify your route to genuine happiness. Collecting this information, and amending it as needed, requires commitment and clarity.

This is a process that authenticates your personal “story.” Yet it’s a story that can change on the turn of a dime. Financial setbacks, illness and relationships that break down can all turn everything inside out without warning. When the “bad” rears its ugly head, practicing the art of cognitive reappraisal is your anchor in the storm.

All this process requires is time and the willingness to look at who you are, where you’ve come from and how you wish to move forward. The secret is to believe in your potential and be fearless about discarding the old, limiting beliefs that imprison your mind, while upholding the beliefs that empower you. Your prevailing beliefs or “mental models” are there, waiting in the shadows. Only by examining them, fully understanding them and becoming conscious of them do you have any real chance to change them.

So, exactly how do you implement “this process”?

1. Identify your beliefs.

Cheer up, beautiful people. This is where you get to make it right. — Walter White, Breaking Bad

You may remember the point in the series finale of Breaking Bad when everyone’s favorite socipath, Walter White, confronts his wealthy, successful former partners and says, “Cheer up, beautiful people. This is where you get to make it right.” In other words, he’s figured out what it is he wants to accomplish: to get it right.

No, you’re not Walter White (hopefully). But there are many ways to identify your own beliefs, such as working with an executive coach or therapist or, if you are particularly introspective, journaling. The idea is to remain inquisitive and discern how your core beliefs serve you, for good or for ill. Limiting beliefs will reveal themselves in repetitious, painful thoughts such as: “I’m not good enough” or “No matter what I do, I can’t get ahead.”

And that kind of unobserved mind can be a dangerous thing. Because, if you’re oblivious to the thoughts that hold you back, you’ll never be able to shift them. Yet, if you ultimately establish that your beliefs have not been helpful, you can reimagine them to achieve a constructive and comfortable “fit.”

2. Reframe your beliefs.

Start practicing fact-finding behaviors that will help you step into a new frame of mind and assimilate new structures of belief, where you can begin to live according to the adjustments you have made. When you re-evaluate your beliefs, you are in a position to consciously break free of pain and suffering.

In my book Kensho: A Modern Awakening, I interviewed self-inquiry authority Byron Katie about identifying and changing beliefs. “We don’t need to know what causes us to create or attach to our belief systems,” Katie said. “The only important thing is to be aware of what are our stressful thoughts — the thoughts that cause all our suffering — and then to write them down and question them. This is how the truth sets us free.”

Finally, a gem from William James, championed as the “Father of American psychology”: James said that the “greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”  So, choose your own thoughts well and “break up” with the ones that hold you back from realizing true happiness.

Source: entrepreneur.com ~ By Susan Steinbrecher

5 Things Millionaires Do That Most People Don’t

My lifelong dream is to create more millionaire students than any other stock trading teacher out there. I’m lucky enough to have reached the seven-figure mark myself, and now, I’m dedicated to sharing everything I’ve learned – including the stock trading patterns that work in any market – with the students in my Millionaire Challenge.

But one thing I realized pretty early on was that, if I wanted to teach people to be millionaires, I had to study people who had already reached this level of wealth. I had to learn what they did differently so that I could help my students to not just hit this magic number, but to retain the money they earn and build generational wealth.

And today, I’m sharing a few of the things I’ve learned with you. I hope they help – no matter what financial stage you’re currently in.

1. Millionaires work hard.

A lot of people think that winning the lottery is their ticket to success, but I’ve got bad news for you. Nearly 90 percent of lottery winners go through their winnings in five years or less, leaving them back in the same situation they were in before they won.

Millionaires know that there are no shortcuts to success. There’s only hard work executed relentlessly in pursuit of a goal.

I know that, in my case, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t been willing to work hard. I didn’t have a mentor when I started trading stocks in high school. It was up to me to put in the hours needed to become successful. There were plenty of times I would have rather gone out with friends or played video games — anything but sit in front of the computer and study stock charts for another hour.

But I did it. I put in the work upfront because I knew the results would be worth it, they’ve paid off. I’m living my dream lifestyle because I wasn’t afraid to work hard.

2. Millionaires are focused.

That said, it isn’t just about working hard. You have to be working hard on the right thing.

Have you ever known somebody who’s constantly jumping from one “million dollar idea” to another? We all want to be rich, but the people who can’t choose one path to focus on simply aren’t going to achieve it. It’s the people who dedicate themselves to a single pursuit that come out on top, whether that one path is penny stock trading, company building or something else.

3. Millionaires are careful about risk.

I happen to think that penny stock trading represents one of the best opportunities to build generational wealth. The barriers to entry are low and, if you follow the rules I’ve learned, your risk is relatively low.

But whatever wealth-building approach you take, you’ve got to keep your risk in check. It’s not that you shouldn’t take risks, but the risks you take should be calculated. One of the tools we use in trading is the “risk-reward ratio” — basically, how much risk you’re willing to take on for how much potential reward.

You can apply this line of thinking to just about anything in your life. If there’s more risk than there is reward, stay away. But if there’s more potential for reward than there is risk of loss, you may be looking at a great opportunity you should take.

4. Millionaires are generous.

Take a lesson from generous billionaires Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn and Ken Langore. Giving money can feel just as good (if not better) than earning it.

I’ve recently started my own charitable foundation in order to give back $2 million to my community, and I have to tell you, it feels amazing. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get started, but I’m looking forward to making up for lost time.

5. Millionaires never stop learning.

This is such a big one. Millionaires love to learn because they’re always looking for ways to expand their skill sets and get ahead in their fields. They read books, watch documentaries, study educational materials and talk to others who can give them more information. Millionaires know that knowledge is power, and they stop at nothing to get it.

No matter what your net worth is right now, you can put this tip into practice today. If you’re learning to trade penny stocks, you can watch videos, read SEC statements, study stock charts or learn from others in industry chat rooms. You can do all of these things for free, but the value of what you learn will be worth so much more in the long run.

Which of these habits could you add to your life? Commit today to making at least one change that puts you on the path to becoming a millionaire.

Source: entrepreneur.com ~ By Timothy Sykes

8 Money Mistakes to Avoid on Your Way to Being Wealthy

There is a difference between being rich and having wealth.

Wealth is the abundance of something in such surplus that no conditions can destroy it. Making a lot of money is one thing, getting rich another. Creating wealth, well, that’s what very few people ever learn. You have heard the expression “get rich quick,” but you will never hear “get wealthy quick.”

Ever hear the saying, “money never sleeps?” The wealthy take this literally and believe that money must work around the clock to grow. The wealthy respect and pay attention to their money knowing that nothing multiplies without attention. They also know money wants to be loved and acknowledged.

Sound crazy? Show me someone that doesn’t pay attention to their money or is disrespectful of it and I will show you someone lacking money.

The wealthy also avoid mistakes that big income earners and the rich make. Here are some common money mistakes you must avoid to create wealth:

1. Seeking comfort, not freedom. Comfort is the enemy of abundance and the most dangerous element of finances. The entire middle class is built on seeking comfort. The wealthy seek freedom and so much abundance that money is no longer dependent on their efforts. More is the mantra, abundance is the affirmation, comfort isn’t on their menu and freedom is the focus.

2. Diversification. You can never get truly wealthy by diversifying your investments. Wall Street has done a great job of selling the public on this idea of diversifying because it benefits Wall Street.

Mark Cuban says “Diversification is for idiots.” Andrew Carnegie said “put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.”

If you want to create real wealth learn everything you can about a space and go all in.

3. Depending on one income flow. No matter how big your income is, never depend on one flow. I knew an executive who was earning $350,000 a year, the top 1 percent of all incomes. Suddenly the industry she worked in came to halt and her one income flow was shut down. This has happened to many Americans, destroying trillions of dollars of “pretended” wealth.

To create wealth, you must make investments that will create dependable streams of income flows, independent of your main source of income. I use rental income from apartments and partnerships in other companies to throw off passive flows of income. I continue to pay attention to each of these flows to make them stronger. This is not diversification — it’s fortification of wealth.

4. Comparing to others. Seventy-six percent of working Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Comparing your finances to others will ensure you never create wealth. People often compare their situation to some starving nation in a remote part of the world to justify being “better off.” Another person’s finances, good or bad, will not pay your bills, won’t fund your retirement and will not provide you peace of mind. Don’t compare your finances to someone else’s.

5. Investing in trends. Avoid investing in the latest and greatest technologies that can be displaced by new technological developments.

Warren Buffett invests in electricity, railroads, banks, insurance, soft drinks, food companies and candy.

Don’t get on the roller coaster. Take the longer, slower ride that guarantees arrival.

6. Trusting without proof. The single biggest mistake of my financial life was naïvely trusting a group of people because I liked them and it felt right. I neglected to get proof that they were actually as they presented. Instead I went with my feelings and was deceived. By the time I figured out something was wrong, I was out millions.

Disregard your feelings when it comes to people and always look for solid evidence. If you are so close to people that you are not willing to ask them to provide evidence, make it a policy not to do business with them.

7. Saving to save. It is impossible to create real wealth just by saving money. The banks only pays .25 percent, so it will take you 40 years to grow your money 10 percent if rates stay where they are. More importantly, money that sits around idle always seems to find an emergency to fund.

Dave Ramsey suggests you not carry cash or credit cards because when either is available — you’ll create a reason to use it.

To guarantee my wealth, since the age of 25, I moved surplus money into future investments accounts that I could not easily access, so that money was available for investments when I finally had the knowledge and courage to do so. This kept me broke and having to hustle constantly.

8. Pretender spender. On the other end of the spectrum is the pretender spender. They try to impress others with how they spend money. It’s not their money, it is always someone else’s. Sports cars, expensive clothes, designer bags, shoes, V.I.P. tables — the list is endless.

The wealthy are not trying to impress anyone, they are seeking freedom.

When the wealthy hit affluence and abundance, they start throwing money around on ridiculous things — cars, boats, planes, vacation homes. By then, it no longer matters that the things are poor investments. The very wealthy may appear to be flaunting their money with extravagances, but in reality they are not. The money they are spending is miniscule compared to the abundance they’ve created.

Sounds good doesn’t it? So what will it be for you: middle class, rich or wealthy?

You know money won’t make you happy and just getting by won’t either. There is a price to be paid for whatever choice you make. Wealth provides you with options and the person that has options has freedom.

Source: entrepreneur.com ~ By Grant Cardone

9 Success Habits of Wealthy People That Cost Nothing

9 Success Habits of Wealthy People That Cost Nothing

Have you ever you wondered how certain people have gotten so successful? Sure you have. A great idea, motivation, persistence, and a little luck helps, but most successful people share certain habits. Here are nine habits that have helped place them on the top:

1. They meditate.

Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, told The Huffington Post in 2013 that “Meditation, more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.” Dalio, however, is not alone. Oprah, Rupert Murdoch, Russell Simmons, Arianna Huffington, Bill Ford and Padmasree Warrior have all attributed mediation as a huge component to their success.

Taking care of your body and mind by relaxing, exercising, healthy eating and getting enough sleep are all ways to improve your chances of success.

2. They wake up early.

President Obama, Richard Branson, Jack Dorsey, Larry Schultz, Tim Cook and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns are known to be early risers. How has this attributed to their success? Because early risers are able to start their days ahead of everyone else by responding to others, exercising and finding some personal time, early risers also tend to be happier and are more proactive.

3. They network.

Successful people realize the importance of networking. In fact, research has found that networking can lead to people performing better at work and increases the chance of landing a job. Networking helps our successful people be more innovative. According to Dale Carnegie’s classic “How To Win Friends & influence People,” successful people rarely complain or criticize. They are sincere and try to be empathetic.

4. Keep themselves busy.

Successful people are rarely idle. Achievers like LBJ and Robert Moses were known to work 60-65 hours per work. Elon Musk works a whooping 80-100 hours per week and has said, “That’s the type of work ethic an entrepreneur needs to have.”

5. They know when to say “no.”

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett

Successful people realize that by saying “no” to negativity, extra work and activities that waste time, they can focus on increasing their productivity. If they say “yes” to everyone or everything, they’ll be too distracted and will not accomplish tasks that have to be done.

6. They don’t watch TV, they read.

According to Thomas Corley, author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals,” 67 percent of rich people only watch TV for one hour or less per day. Corley also found only 6 percent of the wealthy watch reality shows, while 78 percent of the poor do.

Additionally, 86 percent of the wealthy love to read with an impressive 88 percent claiming that they read for self-improvement for 30 minutes or more per day.

7. They write to-do lists the night before.

Successful people are known for writing their to-do-lists the night before so that they are able to set priorities for the following day. They number their lists as well to identify which tasks are the most important.

8. They set goals and visualize.

Joel Brown interviewed a number of high achievers for Entrepreneur and found that “Ninety-five percent of the successful achievers I have interviewed practice writing down their goals, plans, or visions for success on a regular basis.” Successful people do this the night before, or first thing in the morning so that they are prepared to tackle the challenges that await them.”

9. They manage their money.

Successful people have gotten where they are because they were able to manage their finances well. This means that they invest their money wisely, look for new opportunities and set aside emergency funds. They are more generous and willing to donate to those who need help. Here are 101 ways that I’ve put together to save money like well-off people. In addition, I’ve found that my marriage has become 10x better with enough savings in the bank for a year of expenses. That saved us when my last business venture failed.

There is an old saying that luck and preparation always meet opportunity. The most successful people set themselves up for success by preparing all the time. Successful people expect luck will find them, and it usually does.

 

11 Pieces of Rebel Advice That Will Catapult Your Startup Success

By Andrew Medal

Nothing like a little Ben Affleck in Boiler Room to get us going. (Watch it right now here so you get a grasp on the tone of this piece.)

These are strategies that have worked for me, but may not necessarily work for you, so take them with a grain of salt. Let’s get to it:

1. Take time off

Make sure the timing is right. I work my butt off — more than 12 hours a day usually. My only true rest day is Saturday afternoon after I do CrossFit for a few hours.

The past two weeks I’ve been stressed out with some major project deadlines looming, Entrepreneur writing deadlines, juggling my other startups, planning for my wedding in October and planning for a trip to Europe in August. I’m not usually that stresed out guy.

I never play video games anymore, but randomly I downloaded this game called Boom Beach on my Android tablet, and have been playing it the past couple days. The game is similar to the old Command & Conquer. It’s been awesome to free my mind, and just f**k off a little.

Guess what happened? My projects were accomplished. My writing is on point. My startups are moving forward and Europe is not going anywhere.

Know when the time is right, and go f**k off — whatever that means for you. It will help your brain to disconnect.

2. Work for free

Last year, Mark Cuban was persecuted for an old rant about not being able to hire free interns. Apparently, working for free goes against the majority’s thinking. I’ve used it to my advantage my entire life.

Early in my career I worked for free all over the place. It was the single most important activity I did. My experience doubled over night, and I learned how to create enough value at each internship that I eventually was offered a position. I typically turned it down and moved on at that point because I learned as much as I could.

To this day I’m not afraid to work for free if I see an upside. Also, most of the startups I build are bootstrapped. Guess what that means? I work for free. Yippee!

Working for free turns you into a value creating machine. You learn how to create assets that did not exist previously, and it can afford you all sorts of opportunities to work with people you may not have had the chance to otherwise.

3. Work on multiple projects

Most of the advice out there will tell you to focus on one thing, use all of your energy, blah, blah, blah. I disagree.

To clarify, I’m not talking about multi-tasking, I’m talking about working on multiple projects simultaneously. For example, I have my main digital marketing company (that is spinning out a sister company that focuses on experiential marketing, guerrilla marketing and publicity stunts). I have a handful of startups, and am focused on building my personal brand. I’m writing a book, and constantly helping and mentoring other entrepreneurs.

There are always sticking points and risk with startups. Having multiple things going on at once helps you to constantly move rather than get stuck, and helps mitigate risks. I’ve learned how to prioritize effectively, and allocate more of my time and energy to the projects that demand them.

4. Work whenever you want

My workload fluctuates, but I tend to keep a full plate. One perk of being an entrepreneur is that I can work whenever I want. Granted, I have clients and troops that I have to communicate with and be accessible to, but I can choose when to work for the most part.

Some days I’ll stop working in the day and go see a movie, or hang out with my fiancee and puppy. I like to work at night, and tend to stay up late. I use this flexibility to my advantage to accomplish my objectives during my peak hours.

5. Work wherever you want

I used to have really nice office space, and then I shut it down. It was a waste of overhead and made me feel like I had a job.

I love the nomadic entrepreneur lifestyle. Everything I do is online, and it affords me the luxury to work wherever I want. This is another perk of being an entrepreneur. Take advantage of it. Go work at the pool or beach or at a co-working space with other entrepreneurs. You can even travel the world and use Nomad List to figure out the best places in the world to work.

6. Ask for more

If you don’t ask, you don’t receive, right? Push the envelope, any envelope, all the envelopes.

I do this in life and as an entrepreneur. For example, a few years ago I was flying somewhere for business. I saw that there were some empty seats in first class. I went up to the flight attendant, turned up my charm  and asked, “What would it take for me to ride up here where I belong?” She chuckled, and gave me a seat. Maybe this is a shallow example, but you get my point.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more. Ask for more from yourself, your team, investors, clients and the Starbuck’s barista serving your double shot mocha venti latte. A funny thing happens when you start asking, you usually receive.

7. Bend the rules

Of course, this would be in this list somewhere. Look at this awesome quote I got from Tucker Max:

As an entrepreneur, you always want to learn the rules, but only so you can know exactly how to bend and break them when needed.

Bending the rules will allow you to think outside the lines, and allow you to see the world through a different lens. It is that unique lens that can separate you from the herd, which will empower you to be a stronger entrepreneur.

8. Don’t take yourself seriously

This is important. Taking yourself seriously is a sign of inflated ego, and inflated ego is a weak character trait. Make fun of yourself. Share your quirks and awkwardness. Nobody is perfect. This will help build authentic relationships with people and show your true self.

9. Embrace your haters

You will have many haters if you follow my advice. Sometimes they’re undercover haters, sometimes they’re out in the open and most of the time they like to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet.

I have lots of experience with this. Have you Googled my name? Yep. Thanks haters. Who cares. I’ve learned to embrace them. If it wasn’t for the negative online slander against me, I probably wouldn’t have ever started writing. So, thank you haters.

10. Be controversial

Don’t be controversial just for the sake of being controversial. That’s lame and a waste of everyone’s time. However, if you’re passionate about something, stand up for it. Even if it goes against the norm.

Nobody in their right mind would write the type of articles I write, such as “6 Life Hacks Learned In Prison That Will Maximize Your Productivity” or “How My Life As An Entrepreneur Shaped My Time In Prison.” In fact, some of my closest friends and contacts urged against me sharing so much. Personally, I felt the risk was worth the payout though.

And guess what? It has been.

My “6 Life Hacks Learned In Prison” column has afforded me all types of opportunity. It was picked up by TIME.com, FOX and other notable media outlets. I earned new business. I picked up a new contribution role for another media company and I continue to build authentic relationships with people through my brand.

11. Take a stance

Almost in the same vein of the above point, don’t be afraid to take a stance. Too many people are afraid to stand up for what they believe in these days.

This is my favorite Steve Jobs quote:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Here’s the plain truth, not everyone is going to like you. Who cares? Get over it and live your life without regrets.

This has turned into more of a motivational speech than I planned for. My editor rushed me to finish though, so this isn’t the right time to f**k off. Remember, life is short. Take risks, live without regrets and go download that Boom Beach game (you’ll thank me, it is seriously fun).

Source: entreprenuer.com

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