Are You Victim or Victor? – Preparation is the Answer

Are You Victim or Victor?

Lockdown, social isolation. These are the new rules of our lives for the next few months. How you respond will determine if you are victim or victor.

Covid-19 has caused unprecedented changes in our way of life. It has caused us all to spend much more time in our own homes, with much less social contact as we try to contain the spread of this disease.

This is going to result in a very different world in future years (and decades). Whilst I have no doubt that the “Roaring Twenties” of the last Century will return in this, just as they followed WW1 and the Spanish Flu last century.

Whether you are an employee or employer, there are opportunities to be taken. Whilst the victims wallow in fear and doubt, like rabbits in the spotlight, the victors recognise the huge opportunities that arise in times of crisis. The best are already preparing and making plans for the next decade.

But it won’t be the same people who were on top before that come out on top when the dust settles. In any crisis there are winners and losers, victims and victors.

Employment

In the immediate term – to end 2020 employment levels in all countries will escalate. Government stimulus packages designed to counter the impacts of this are reaching unheard of levels.

What is not known I show long the state of emergency or pandemic shutdowns will last? Or how long it will take to recover. The financial stresses that businesses are going through encourage a closer look at costs and efficiencies, and many jobs will be permanently lost.

In his classic book – Bullshit Jobs – David Graeber proposes that up to half of all work is pointless. He includes five types of entirely pointless jobs:

  1. “Flunkies” whose sole purpose is to make their superiors feel important – e.g. receptionist, personal assistants;
  2. “Goons” who act aggressively on behalf of their employers – e.g. lobbyists, corporate lawyers;
  3. Duct tapers, who ameliorate preventable problems, e.g., programmers repairing shoddy code, airline desk staff who calm passengers whose bags don’t arrive;
  4. Box tickers, who use paperwork or gestures as a proxy for action, e.g., performance managers, in-house magazine journalists, leisure coordinators; and
  5. Taskmasters, who manage—or create extra work for—those who don’t need it, e.g., middle management, leadership professionals

Many of these jobs will simply disappear for at least a decade. If you are in one of these jobs, or you realise that your job has no real meaning, and contributes little, I would urge you to take the time in isolation, quarantine or shutdown to prepare for a different future. Don’t just think that after a period of time – it will back to normal. It won’t be. The new normal will be very different, and we can only guess at how different.

What we do know is that it is wise to prepare for this. Use this time to develop your ability to create a new future – build your skills and flexibility.

While all the self-improvement gurus tell a similar story, the fundamentals remain the same. They may be wrapped in different packaging, with different wording and stories, but its very much the same messages which have been around for fifty years or more.

It comes down to setting goals, being focussed and disciplined. I have personally found it useful to be guided by others in this. It keeps you on target and can be a useful tool to motivate when you lose the urge.

The two best in the business are Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins. Selecting between them is as much a matter of personal preference as anything. Either will be a great help to you.

Their longer programs can run to hundreds of dollars, but both have introductory materials such as The Miracle of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy or Find Your True Gift by Tony Robbins which will only set you back the cost of a few cups of coffee (and you can’t go out to but hose now anyway).

Business

Any recession brings with it heartache and misery, we’ve been through it many times before.  This one is likely to be one of the biggest.

But for those with foresight, strong management discipline, and dare I say, “balls”, there are always business opportunities during recession that can provide decades of wealth to follow.

The victors prosper and get rich in times of recession. The money may not turn up for a few years, but it is an incredible opportunity to build the foundations of future wealth.

OK, so this seems to be going in the face of all the doom and gloom that is common, but isn’t that just the point?  If you do the same thing as everyone else, you’ll get the same results as everyone else.

“Fortunes are lost in the boom and made in the bust” JP Morgan

The victims will just keep plodding along, hoping for the best, and will more than likely go broke. The victors will be those who manage their cash flow, have cash (or access to it), those who keep their costs down and maintain their margins. When the victims disappear, the winners will take their market share, employ their best staff and build strong businesses for decade to come.

 The strongest companies in each industry benefit in four ways:

  1. They gain market share by picking up sales that had previously gone to weaker competitors that no longer exist;
  2. With fewer competitors, the strong find they can increase their margins since customers and clients have fewer options.  This is even more valuable than increased sales;
  3. High unemployment in the industry means it is easier to recruit top quality staff that had been working for weaker competitors. Those who survive and take advantage build their knowledge and skill base at a rapid rate; and
  4. They have the opportunity to buy out weaker competitors at bargain prices.

What You Need to Succeed

In a previous post we identified 6 Critical Factors for Success.

These are the skills and traits that will enable you to not only survive, but also prosper in an uncertain and rapidly changing world:

  1. An Action Orientation – nothing happens unless you make it so. Your success or failure is ultimately up to you. Luck will play a part, but perseverance will generally win the day. Staying motivated is essential, as are productive habits;
  2. Continuous learning – in a world of constant and exponential change, we need to be able to adapt and keep up. This is less about knowledge but the ability to source and analyze it. Read widely and be open to new ideas, discuss topics with others;
  3. A questioning attitude – fake news is widely accepted as fact. We need to question all information as to its source, reliability, and veracity. Some may call this cynicism, or being skeptical – we think it essential in a world where information is so readily manipulated;
  4. Flexibility and adaptability – the next decade will be very different from this one. Whilst many try to predict the future, we should be aware of changes and be prepared to alter course accordingly. We can’t become too fixed in time or place, but must continually adapt;
  5. Morality and ethics – whilst the “gamers” may have some short-term wins, in the long run, they lose. Your time on this planet is too short to not treat people the way you would want to be treated yourself. Empathy with others has a way of repaying you over time (think Karma bus). A strong sense of who you are is invaluable in times of crisis;
  6. Confidence and courage –these are closely aligned with a strong self of sense. It takes confidence and courage to follow your own path. These are traits that can be practiced and built upon.

How to be Positive and Happy

If you want to know more about how to be positive and happy all the time – read on. Consider first what happy, successful people think about every day? It’s simple. They think positively about what they want and how they can get it. Positivity can change your life.

When you spend your time thinking and talking about what you want from life and how you can achieve it, you will feel happier and more in control. When you think about happy things, your brain releases endorphins, which give you a feeling of well-being. It doesn’t take long to develop a positive attitude.

The Importance of Optimism

Psychological tests have shown that happy people have a specific quality that enables them to live a better life. That quality, of course, is optimism. If you’re groaning at the thought of such positivity, because you worry that you can’t become an optimist, then stop right now. According to WebMD, optimism can be learned. It’s all about cause and effect. If you change your way of thinking and align it with optimists, you will start to feel happier and see results.

The Positive and Happy Find The Good In The World

There are two distinct ways that optimists deal with the world, which sets them apart from the rest:

  • First, they remain focused on what they want, looking for ways to achieve it. They set clear goals and remain confident they will achieve them.
  • Second, in every difficult situation an optimist will look for the good. When something goes wrong, they determine what lesson or knowledge can be drawn from the situation.

If you look for the good in someone or something then you will always find it, and in the looking, you will find yourself more cheerful.

Unfu*k Yourself – by Gary John Bishop

This is a refreshing, BS-free, self-empowerment guide that offers an honest, no-nonsense, tough-love approach to help you move past self-imposed limitations.

This book will help to show you how to be positive and happy.

The Power Of Positive Thinking 

Optimists seek the lesson in every obstacle. They don’t get upset and look at where they can lay blame. They control their emotions and look at things logically.

Positive thinking has several benefits to your life:

  • Motivation: Willpower and motivation come from a strong mind. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions. When you replace pessimism with optimism, you reshape your outlook.
  • Strong Relationships: Happiness attracts happiness, thus happy people attract people who are happy. If you surround yourself with negativity, you will only attract negativity. Positivity breeds trust, which builds strong relationships. Without trust, relationships cannot survive. We are hardwired to seek trust.
  • Confidence: Negativity spreads and can impact other attributes, such as self-esteem and confidence. The key to leading a happy life is loving yourself. Optimists laugh louder, love harder, and walk taller. They glow.
  • Strong Mind & Body: Negative thoughts are draining and can have a severe impact on your mental health. They can leave you struggling to get up in the morning and inhibit your ability to sleep. Fatigue leads to weakness, sadness, and a lack of motivation. Therefore, negativity takes a toll on your whole body.

Choose Happiness

You can make the choice today to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Look at your blessings rather than noting every shortcoming. Look at the best in everyone around you, because in truth, the majority of people are honest and good. Look for the good in their actions and in their words, and resolve to be of good cheer.

It’s easy to be upbeat when everything in your life is going well. However, it’s even more important to do so when everything is going against you or is falling apart. You can still draw from your inner strength and look on the bright side of life, it will pay off in spades.

We hope that this article has helped to show you how to be positive and happy. The rewards are a richer, fuller and more successful life.


Avoid the Job You Hate! Live Life With Passion!

Live a Life of Passion

Do you live a life of passion? What does this mean? Let’s look at what it isn’t first.

Do you have a job you hate? Do you have to clock in every day, feeling dispirited and broken by the drudgery of it all?  If you do, and you hate your job, chances are you find the work mundane and unrewarding. You probably feel the daily commute is too long, your bosses are uncaring or unappreciative of the efforts you put in.

Do you have a BullS**t job? Do you feel that it doesn’t really mean much, and there’s little sense of achievement that comes from it?

A Life of Passion

So what is a life of passion?

While we all have to make money to survive, how much better would it be if you left work feeling fulfilled and invigorated? Sure, we may receive a paycheck at the end of the week, but does that really make up for all the unhappy moments? Surely, the answer to that question is a resounding no. No real rewards in toiling away in a job you hate! Is there an answer?

There is an answer. It comes in finding your passion, and then working at that. It means you may have to be prepared to make short-term trade-offs for longer-term happiness and satisfaction.

Success and passion are interlinked. Success follows when we pursue our passions. It is unlikely to come from perseverance in a hated job.

We call this living a life of passion. In order to really live a life of fulfillment and walk in your truth, you must follow your passion. Many think this to be not very realistic, that it sounds a bit far-fetched, but it’s actually quite attainable. All you need is a willing attitude, a bit of determination and a positive spirit. Those, along with consistent hard work will help you live a life of passion and avoid the job you hate.

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Let’s consider how you can live a life of passion.

Determine Your Passion

Do you know what your passion is? If you want to start living a more fulfilled life, you must firstly identify what drives you. When you know what drives you, what motivates you, you will easily determine you purpose. When you know your purpose you are able to set goals, the achievement of which provides satisfaction, confidence and happiness.

To find your passion, ask yourself, is there an activity that gives you excitement? Do you find yourself daydreaming about a particular field of interest? What is it that motivates you to get up in the morning?

The underlying answers to these questions will help you determine what your passion truly is. Once you uncover that, you’ll be able to make the necessary steps towards achieving it.

Learn Your Passion

Once you have identified your passion, you need to become expert in it. This is not a short-term fix, but a long-term commitment.

Maybe your passion is to become a chef. Before you blindly pick up the pots and pans, it is important that you learn your craft before you can start to make a living from it. Study from the greats and imitate their actions. Read and soak up as much information as you can on your particular interest.

This will help you improve your skills and train you to the be the best. The better you are, the more financially rewarding it will be. When you are highly skilled and knowledgeable, you’re more likely to succeed, to find employment or start a business revolving around your passion. Remember, you can dream all you want, but it takes practice and hard work to turn the dream into reality.

Take Steps

After you’ve determined your passion and gathered enough information and skills, it’s time to start pursuing it as a career. This will involve different steps to take you into your new career or business.

The start might be to take up an internship or shadowing job. Perhaps change your resume to reflect your new venture. Then, begin applying for the jobs that’ll get you one step closer to your passion. When you put in the necessary work, it’s imperative that you get out of your comfort zone and really try to find your place. This will help you to lay the foundation for your future career. 

Or it may be to start a new business that is based on your passion. Continuing with the example of a chef, it may lead you into starting a catering business, a product-based business such a cup cakes, or a restaurant. The possibilities are indeed numerous.

Be Passionate

Following your passions will make you a happier and more fulfilled person. Although we’ve focused primarily on employment, and business opportunities, developing your passion doesn’t have to be purely financial. If your passion is to be a better artist, person or writer, then follow those dreams even if they’re just for your own personal development. It will make you a lot happier and more contented with life.

One of the best pieces of advice one could hear is to do everything with passion. From the smallest gesture to the biggest action, acting with passion will make you stand out in the crowd. in turn, you’ll live a happier, more fulfilled life.

10 Ways That Exercise Improves Self Confidence

One of the best ways to boost your self-confidence is by exercising regularly. This not only good for self assurance but has great health benefits.

All of us want to feel good about ourselves. When we are confident, we feel better emotionally and mentally and this reflects in a very positive way in our behaviors. This in turn improves our quality of life, everything from personal relationships to our professional endeavors.

Confidence is an essential part of success, and anything which can help boost our self-confidence, is good for us.

Related Posts:

So how can exercise improve self-confidence?

Here Are 10 Ways How Exercising Boosts Your Confidence

  1. Weight Control. Exercising along with healthy eating is the best way to control weight or lose weight. This is all about energy intake and energy burning. Obviously, if you burn more energy than you take in, then the more you will lose weight. Being overweight is a confidence destroyer. Therefore the better shape you are, the better you will feel.
  2. Improves mood. There’s nothing better emotionally than a good workout. Before you think that this requires a trip to the gym, think again. A good workout could be a brisk walk, or a jog. In fact, anything that makes your body work physically harder can be a workout. What this does is to stimulate brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which promote a general feeling of well-being. The results are a reduction in stress and anxiety.
  3. It’s good for the heart. Regular exercising lowers the risk of various heart-related conditions. Exercising has been proven to lower blood pressure, reduce problems associated with diabetes and can even help in fighting heart disease. This is quite logical – if exercising reduces weight, then this means that the heart has to work less and in turn, the heart is much healthier. There is also less pressure on joints and other areas of the body.
  4. Keeps the body in shape. This is slightly different from weight control. Being in shape involves having a well-toned body and better posture – all aspects connected with self-confidence. When a person feels good about him or herself, it’s easier to make friends and more connections in life means more confidence.
  5. More energy. If we don’t have the energy to do things, then everything becomes a chore. That can lead to thoughts of feeling bad about oneself. Regular exercise helps the whole bodywork more effectively. The result is that chores become responsibilities and the more responsibility we are coping with, the better we feel.
  6. Better sleep. Regular exercise promotes good sleep. It is proven that sleep is necessary for general feelings of well-being. Sleep is also necessary for how we look. Just imagine preparing for an important meeting and looking in the mirror and seeing dark circles under bloodshot eyes – how confident will you feel? Therefore, exercising will improve sleep. One word of warning – just don’t exercise too near bedtime.
  7. Improves productivity. One of the best ways to clear the mind is to exercise regularly. Exercise gives you a chance to wipe the slate clean and start from new. In addition, if you push yourself exercising you can realize new potentials and this in turn boosts self-confidence. Very often, what you thought was a major problem before exercising disappears after.
  8. Give you something to look forward to. Once you have a reasonable schedule for exercising, you will start to look forward to it. This in itself is a confidence booster. Once you start seeing the benefits of exercising, you will have the desire to continue and in the end, you feel better and look better.
  9. Improves concentration. In general exercising helps us to develop the necessary skills to concentrate on the task in hand. This then trains us better when we have tasks or responsibilities to concentrate better, resulting in more praise and benefits.
  10. Feelings of control and achievement. In general, exercising has so many benefits to health and mind that we can’t help having a feeling of control and achievement. Working out takes work, dedication, commitment, and care for oneself, and all this facilitates enormous feelings of confidence.

Don’t Wait! Get Started Today!

 Try incorporating regular exercising into your routine and you will experience the many benefits to your self-confidence that regular exercising gives.

What Does Success Mean For You? – How to Define Success in Life

What does success mean for you?

Just what do we mean by success? What does success mean to you? How are we to be successful in life?  While many equate success with money, power or prestige, a successful life involves much more than that. There are many components to a successful, balanced life, and success is best thought of in a broad, all-of-life manner. To help you, we have identified six essential elements of a successful life.

Many people lead a successful life without amassing great wealth or power.  Our tendency is to think in the short term, our immediate future is most important to us. But a successful life is lived over many decades. If we accept this and think of success in terms of a whole life, not just a year or a decade, we have a better sense of what is important in our lives.

This has two advantages – the first is that it means you always have the chance to improve on your situation. The second is that this wider perspective allows you to appreciate what you have, and to see more clearly the things that are most important.

Success is something to work at continually. In pursuing a successful life, there is no beginning or end – only tomorrow. We define the six pillars of success to help guide you on your journey.

“Past failures are the building blocks of tomorrow’s triumphs.”

Six Pillars of Success

A successful life is multi-faceted, involving the full scope of your life and interactions with others. Importantly, it should be defined by you, not what you think others might think.

We see six pillars of success – the six S’s of success:

  1. Self worth – having a positive sense of self;
  2. Support – enjoying a strong and supportive network of personal relationships;
  3. Satisfaction – and the fulfillment that comes from achievement;
  4. Strength – coming from a healthy body and mind that allows you to get the most from life;
  5. Security – the comfort of a solid financial situation, or financial independence; and
  6. Safety – and the security that allows a solid base for dealing with a rapidly changing world.

1.      Strong Sense of Self (Self Worth)

Success often begins with having a strong, positive and confident sense of self. This is the essential foundation on which your success is based.

Words such as happiness and contentment are similarly related states of mind. However we feel that the more critical dimension is that of a strong feeling of self worth. Psychologists refer to it as “subjective well-being”, and without this, we are unlikely to be happy or content.

If we are not happy, if we are not sure of ourselves, our relationships suffer from our doubts and inconsistencies. In contrast, a strong sense of self allows us to be more engaged and more engaging. As a result we are more likely to achieve the things we desire.

 “We don’t live in a neighbourhood, city, state or country – we live in the space between our ears.”

2.      Supportive Network of Personal Relationships

Humans are social creatures; our history is one of tribes and families. This has helped us to dominate other species by our ability to think, communicate and organise as a group. As we have moved from a tribal base to communities of towns, cities, and nations, we continue to hold dear our relationships with those around us.

This means that you cannot have a successful life without the inclusion of others. Your personal relationships and support groups are essential to your general well-being, they are the ones which add colour and depth to your life. These are the people who give meaning to your existence on this planet, who provide the colour and nuances of your life.

 “At the heart of life lie the relationships we have with other people.”

3.      Satisfaction and Fulfillment

Personal fulfillment begins with a sense of purpose. This is commonly quoted in the self-help literature, but in reality is harder to achieve than generally stated.

For instance, as a younger man at University I had a friend who was committed to a flying career (at which he became very successful). I was jealous of this certainty in his life’s direction. He was amongst a very small minority with such a sense of purpose in their lives.

The rest of us had only vague ideas of the future, and we have moved our lives through a series of goals and ambitions, each updated or replaced as the last was reached.

We do (and should have) goals and set plans for the achievement of those goals. These can be short or longer term, and the satisfaction that comes with achievement is indeed powerful. If we drift through life in a complacent manner, we find that months, years and decades slip by and we realise we have wasted huger opportunities. This is not success.

“Only dead fish go with the flow.”

4.      Strong Body

Looking after yourself physically is a big part of living a successful life. Note that we aren’t talking about exhaustive gym workouts or fad diets. It’s simpler than that. Eating sensibly, with less sugar, watching your weight and getting regular exercise (from walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator for instance), are small things that can make a big difference for many people.

Health problems can beset anyone, at any time. The causes are not always identifiable – we all know of the fitness freak who has suffered an unexpected heart attack or similar misfortune. Causes may be genetic, the result of an accident, the result of a bodily weakness, or they can be lifestyle based.

Whilst we can’t control these things, we can give ourselves the best possible shot. A healthy body will reward you with an increased capacity to do more, to feel more and experience more. It gives better longevity and satisfaction from life, improving our ability to face the physical and mental challenges which continually confront us all.

 “Respect your body. It’s the only one you get.”

5.      Secure Finances

Having a successful life means having financial independence. This is your ticket to more life options and choices, and the formula is quite simple – spend less than you earn and save/invest the balance. Buy quality assets that will appreciate, not toys that will decline in value.

Financial independence is reliant on asset accumulation and typically involves decades of effort.  Having a high-paying job helps, but does not guarantee financial independence. Think of athletes, rock stars, or celebrities with multi-million-dollar earnings who die impoverished. On the other hand, there is the working-class immigrant next door who buys several properties through his life and dies a multi-millionaire.

To think of how to be successful in life, it is useful to define financial independence as the accumulation of wealth that allows you to maintain a desired standard of living without a working pay check. For instance, if your living expenses are $50,000 a year, then an asset portfolio of $1m returning 5% per annum would meet this goal.

 “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”

6.      Safety and Security

Most definitions of success focus on higher-order needs such as self-actualisation, esteem and relationships. However, we should not forget that the satisfaction of basic needs is an essential foundation of a successful life.

Abraham Maslow became a famous psychologist when he published his hierarchy of needs. This includes safety and security as being among our basic needs. Without a safe and comfortable living environment, we cannot properly function in the world. Feeling secure in the world and with our place in it is vital to a successful life.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

This recognises that a strong and secure home base provides a psychological rock from which we anchor our responses to the world. In this sense we consider safety and security to be more about the physical manifestations of the above pillars – a comfortable and rewarding home environment and the ability to use and adapt with new technologies as they intrude on our lives.

“The fact is that people are good, give people affection and security, and they will give affection and be secure in their feelings and their behaviour.”