10 business skills you can learn from playing beach volley ball

Some of you may not know that I truly enjoyed playing beach volley ball even if I am far from being a good player. While playing, I found that a lot of the best players’ skills were identical to habits a successful entrepreneur, any leader or anyone who seeks to improve one’s level of success, needs to develop. I compounded them into 10 skills you can easily master and that will surely improve your “game”.

1- You are always as lousy as your worse player.

If your want your team to lead, if you want your company to move forward and if you want to get any recognition for your hard work, you need to do either two things: Improve the people you work with or change teams. Your company will never move faster than the slowest element of the group.

Also, you will never advance faster than the speed of what slows you down the most. You need to look not only at your top qualities (the ones that make you successful) but at the chains holding you back (what you need to learn and improve, change or let go of).

2- You can’t play alone, you need a team

You can never win alone. Even if you are the best player, you need a support system to allow you to shine. Arrogant players often make the horrible mistake of wanting the game to themselves instead of making a strategic pass and usually end up hitting the ball out of the field.

3- Too many players will trip over each other.

Sounds evident. Yet, some companies will overcrowd offices, thinking they will maximize profits by decreasing working space leading to less productivity. Also, as Parkinson and his studies pointed out, you need to know when to stop hiring staff. It is better to spend the time to hire some leading experts in a field and pay them well then to fill up an office with incompetency.

This is also true in your personal life. Are you overcrowding it by too many activities or too many friends (that are not lifting you higher).

4- You need to stay in your position

When playing fours on the court, there are usually two hitters, one setter, one receiver (who takes care of the back of the court). I have seen so many accidents occur when players decide to take another role then the one they were on the field for.

The same goes in your employment. Ask your boss what your priorities are and stick to what you are supposed to do. If you are the boss, look at what your company is best at and stick to that vertical. Many companies fail because they try to spread too widely.

5- When you miss, it’s your bad but when you win, it’s a team’s effort.

Responsibility is key. You always need to take 100% of it for everything that happens in your business and personal life.

Also, remember to praise in public and criticize in private. Remember where you come from and who helped you when times were tough. Remember to acknowledge those who support you throughout your journey.

6- As soon as you make a mistake, learn and move on quickly

I usually beat myself up when I am not the best out there. But we are all learning in some way or form. What I learned from playing is that you are most likely to repeat the same mistake again if you dwell on it.

Instead, I was taught to practice the right move over and over right after. I teach reprogramming the brain for success and that is really it. You need to impress your subconscious with what you want the outcome to be and not drive your life to what you fear might go wrong by overthinking the negative.

7- If you want to play often, you need to be loud and play fearlessly

I found this true in business and life as well. Mr. Worldwide (305) says so himself “success is 10% talent and 90% marketing”. If you want to get noticed out there with your product, your thoughts, your ideas, your projects; you better be prepared to get louder than anyone else. You need to work harder, stay longer, and beat your drum like no one else. Like Will Smith would say “if I am on the treadmill against someone else, I will either die or win”.

And yes, play fearlessly. We all feel scared at times but you need to force your mind and body to move forward past the fear. Because success is located outside your comfort zone and getting out of the comfort zone is one of the scariest things. “You need to feel the fear and do it anyway.”

8- You need to have a strategy and a set of winning procedures if you want to lead.

Plan, plan, plan. Too many people act without planning and fail. Like Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” or Lincoln “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax”. Remember that an hour of planning saves you 10 hours of execution.

List your successes and fails and focus on your successes in order to create a successful way of doing things. Humbly I can say that I have done many different things in my life and been successful at them because I believe success is a way of being and doing. Learn what process works for you (or learn proven strategies of success) and then apply them consistently.

9- If you play with better players, you tend to improve your game. If your opposing team is not skilled, you will lower your game level to match theirs.

Was is Confucius who said “If you are the smartest in the room, you are in the wrong room”? If you stick around people who are less successful, you will never be pulled upwards in achieving more success.

I remember when I started playing, I was scared because I knew nothing of the game. I was very successful in other fields and even full of myself with my knowledge, reputation and the teachings I could give.

It was tough to do something I was the least knowledgeable of the group at. It taught me humility and the ability to expand in new directions, be teachable, be more open minded and broaden my perspectives.

Tai Lopez speaks of the law of 33, where 33% of your time should be spent with people who know more than you (even if those are dead – by reading), 33 with people you pull and 33 with people who are at the same level.

Mirror the people you aspiring to be like. Contact them, ask for mentors and for help, hang out in associations and groups where you would not usually go. Learn to learn and to be flexible. Learn to grow.

10- Play to win or you will lose.

Again, sounds evident but I hear so many people “try”. I will “try it and see how it goes”. That’s the sentence from hell that is sure to lead you to fail. Grab life with both hands and decide to ride it the way you want it to be and learn how. When you start a project, aim for the gold, aim for the number one position.

I am writing screenplays keeping in mind that I will win Oscars, Emmys and Globes (among other things) . I write because I cannot see myself doing otherwise but since I am doing it anyway why aim for mediocrity.

11- One extra for the road: You need to know that you can win

I remember many times in my life when I won not necessarily because I was better than anyone but because I was more certain than anyone that I would win. I remember playing a game of chess in College (two against the Canadian champion). He was playing against 21 teams. It was quite impressive. There was no chance we would beat him but we did, the only team out of the 21.

I remember applying for jobs with the absolute certainty that I was going to get it. Once, for Air Canada. Over 12,500 candidates for 150 spots for a flight attendant position. Another time, I even said it to the interviewer. I told him that I knew this job was mine. Since it was a sales job and I “sold” myself so well, I was so convincing that they hired me.

You need to boost your self esteem, your self love and build your confidence. We never get more than what we believe we deserve and we never ever get more than how much we are. You get who you are.

As Wayne Dyer would say ” change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.” Change the way you look at yourself and the others will see you differently.

12- Another for the road: You need to visualize your win.

If you can’t imagine it, you will never ever get there, no matter your effort. If you can imagine it, you will get there even if you have no clue as to how it will become.

13- OK this is the last one: You need to live in the present moment and empty your brain from anything that is not in the “right here, right now”.

From one of my favorite movies “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”, “you need to get the trash out. The trash is what ever is keeping you from this moment right here and now. And when you do, you will be amazed by what you can achieve.”

When you stay focused, you can truly surpass any limits you thought you had and reach summits you could only dream of.

The meaning of happiness and how to get there Part 1 of 2

As I was taking my morning walk alongside the beach, I felt incredibly happy. Nothing particular had happened except for the habitual crashing of the waves, flocks of pelicans’ skimming on the ocean’s surface, children’s giggles and the sun’s warmth piercing through the puffy white clouds. As my toes disappeared in the sand, I asked myself about the true meaning of happiness.

I have coached tons of people in the last 10 years and studied the many laws that govern success. All of us want what happiness, right? But what is it really? And why is it so important? Please stay tuned even if you think you know the answers as it might not be what you think.

Evidently happiness is not linked to possessions or status or even the reaching of goals. Most of us know this, others still believe that by acquiring more, the soul will feel fulfilled. But, we all know that, as soon as we reach a goal, acquire something we wanted for so long, or get to a new level of achievements, we move on to the next. Most of us do not even spend a second in rejoicing in what was supposed to make us happy. That’s where the saying “the journey, not the destination”…

So what then? And how can one remain in that state all the time (and yes, it is possible)? but first, why? Why is happiness so important. I know it seems obvious. But is it? Here are some reasons why happiness if so important in your life.

Two premises need to be understood. Happiness is equivalent to the love of life. And, the mind, body and soul can process only one feeling or thought at the time. Therefore, when there is happiness, joy or love; there cannot be a simultaneous sadness, fear, anger, hate…

The love of life is antonym to fear or death. The love of life will bring you more positive experiences. More reasons for the mind, body and soul to stay in life rather than drift towards death. Life is expansive, it is knowledge, curiosity, enthusiasm. You will experience more of these feelings and experiences while loving life. While death is dis-ease (the lack of ease), leading to fear, stress, anxiety and sickness.

Happiness is antonym to sadness and stress. The happier you feel, the less stress you experience. Stress being a major cause of health disasters, the happier you feel, the healthier you will be. You will sleep, digest, and even think better. Happiness provokes endorphin hormones in the brain which helps you learn faster, find creative solutions, solve problems, leading to less stress. And there goes the merry-go-round.

When studying neuroscience, the universal laws of prosperity and even quantum physics (which lead me to the same conclusions), I found that happiness will attract more of the same. The more you focus on something, the more your brain will lead you to more of the same. The law of attraction premise goes in the same direction. Therefore, the happier you feel, the more chances you have of experiencing circumstances that will make you happy.

But then, you say, how can I be happy all the time? Especially when things don’t go as I want them to? How can I decide of my emotions?

You need to be aware that you are always in control of your emotions. The only thing is that you have decided, at some point, to place them on auto-pilot, and to constantly re-act to your outer circumstances. When you switch gears to manual control, you will realize that your outer circumstances will start to change, that the outer world will re-act to your emotions and not the other way around.

My favorite quote from Wayne Dyer is “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”

If I ask you to think about the saddest day of your life, and if you do, your mood will change to sadness. If I then immediately ask you to think of the happiest day you have experienced in your life, your mood will change abruptly, even though nothing will have changed in the outside world. How come? Your mind via your thoughts controls your emotions.

How then can we “practice” happiness? I chose the word “practice” because that is what it truly is. You can practice stress, doubts, fears, anxiety or you can practice happiness, gratitude, appreciation, love… Because of the law of substitution, you cannot feel two emotions at the same time. What you give your experience to (your thoughts, energy…) that is what you practice. The more you practice, the better you become at resorting to that option first and the more comfortable you become in that state of being.

Comfort is always attracting us back to it. That is the place where we feel safe and secure. If your place of safety is stress and anxiety, you will create a life that leads you to feel more of the same. That is how the brain works. It follows orders (you can learn more about that in my system “Boost your Brain Power” here).

In the next article, I will give you 10 ways you can feel happier and practice happiness daily until you become a master of happiness and witness in awe how your world shifts to incredible positive circumstances.

If you want to learn how to reach your goals at Godspeed, I created a 16 hours course to help you, click here: http://attractitude.us/know-it-all-to-have-it-all/

10 simple rules for success

After watching numerous interviews with successful people in many different industries and reading tons of books on the subject trying to understand how one can become successful, I noticed a pattern or, at least 10 similarities (or rules) that came up every time.

One might begin by questioning the definition of the word “success”. I won’t go into that simply because, at the the root of it, lies the same wanting, the same craving: to become more than what and who we are. As Kundera, one of my favorite authors would say “Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”

1- You got to be in the present moment.

All of them agree that too much time and energy are wasted when worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Your power lies in the “now”.

 

2- Love what you do

As all say it: If you don’t love it enough, you will quit and that’s why most people do. You will be challenged, there will be problems. Your passion can help you overcome all obstacles. As Wayne Dyer would say it “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”

3- Persevere

Know that you will fall, you will have problems, it will be tough. But as J.K. Rowlings says “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

Hang in there. The hurricane shall pass. Nothing ever lasts. Stay with it, walk through the storm. Move forward everyday. No matter what, don’t quit. You cannot fail if you don’t stop. Like Winston Churchill said “If you are going through Hell, keep on going.” And also, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

And then you will say it just like Barry Manilow in his song “I made it through the rain.” Because nothing ever lasts, enjoy the success while it last and prepare for the next hurricane.

4- Don’t do it for the money

The richest people in the world never did it for the money. That’s where most people get it wrong. They get into a field for the money and quit because the love is not there. Love what you do, the money will come. As Matthew McConaughey in the movie “Gold”: “We never did it for the money, we did it for the gold.” There is a big difference.

5- Meditate

All successful people quiet their minds, void the noise. In the silence, you will find the answers. Mostly, you will find peace. As Warren Buffet says “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”

6- Be the best

You don’t need to be perfect. As Dali would say “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” You just need to be better. The better you are, the more noticeable you will become. Work on your craft day in and day out. As Will Smith says “When others sleep, I work. When others eat, I work.” If you are the best, you will not feel the need to prove yourself. You will be honest and have integrity because you will know, you are better. And those two qualities are worth gold. As Einstein would say “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”

Don’t underestimate others by creating a low quality product. You will not cheat others, you’ll end up cheating yourself.

7- Believe in yourself

No one will ever believe in you more than you. At the beginning of anything, your belief and confidence will be the only allies you will have. But the more you believe and have confidence, the more the others will listen and, eventually follow. As Marianne Williamson would say “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

8- Dream big

You are the one who can set your limits. You have the choice, the power and responsibility to be limitless. As Les Brown would say “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.” or Leo Burnett “When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”

If you start with low expectations, you never get big results.(That’s my quote). And then, imagine yourself there, act as if you were already there. Before you know it, you will be.

9- Surround yourself with the best

Build a great team or a mastermind group of piers. Remember that successful people talk about goals and ideas, sharing them and getting feed back on how to improve. As Jim Rohn would say “you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Chose carefully. If you cannot find 5 friends that have the statues, income, relationship, you want; chose among the deceased: read books.

10- Stay hungry

Never take anything for granted. Stay open, stay curious, stay enthusiastic. Never settle for something less than what you dreamed of. As Warren Buffet “read, read, read” as he reads 5-6 hours per day. Educate yourself. As Tom Hiddleston would say “Stay hungry, stay young, stay foolish, stay curious, and above all, stay humble because just when you think you got all the answers, is the moment when some bitter twist of fate in the universe will remind you that you very much don’t.”

11- A last one for the road

Don’t give a damn about what others think. Most of the time, they think about what you might be thinking about them. Their opinions will vary and they won’t say most of what they really think. If you succeed, they might be jealous and pull you down to their level of comfort so that your light does not cause them to live in a shadow. You are the person you will spend the most time with, treasure that, first.

Hope this inspires and motivates. Please share with others, to spread the light.

The biggest mistake people make is asking this question wrong.

Most people feel stuck because they don’t move forward. I know it seems trivial. Why don’t they move forward? Because they invert these two fundamental questions?

What do I want?

How can I get it?

It seems so basic and easy but think about it. How many times did you stop yourself because you first asked the question “How can I get it?” before the other.

Most people wait to have all the answers to the second question before deciding on the first. That is where we get stuck.

You can’t open your parachute before you jump off the plane. You can’t inflate your life vest before you jump off the plane either or you might die inside the plane (this tragedy actually occurred in one of the rarest plane crashes on water where passengers inflated their life jackets on board the plane and drowned a few hundred feet from shore).

I do struggle with it too, at times. Not basing what we want to achieve on the reality we see around us. Now asking “how” before we know what and why.

Hope it helps you get moving.

2016 achievements

Before even writing next year’s goals, it is always very important to come back and see last year’s achievements. In my case:

  • 6 books published, one being for “the Dummies collection” which was felt as a great success. 2 books as 2nd editions which is always a good sign, one in Italian which feels great.
  • 5 books titles pre-ordered by my publisher which means I am in demand and that feels awesome.
  • 8 awards for my original screenplays. A great success since I started learning how to write them in June 2016 and my goal was to learn the process, do it and be successful at it.
  • Surviving an illness that almost ripped me from this life. I feel blessed that I was in good enough shape to live through it and come out of it alive.
  • Getting rid of 3 inches off my waist line, a great start to getting back in shape.
  • Approached by 4 literary agents. That is really a success as 6 years ago, I was refused by 400.
  • Moving to LA and back. I wanted to see how it felt to live in that big city. Now, I know.
  • Some fantastic trips. Starting scuba diving again after many years was really amazing in Key Largo. Spending one week in the Grand Canyon and visiting its beauty daily.
  • 6 months without any alcohol consumption. Wanted to get rid of that habit and now, it is done.
  • Reaching a goal of at least $30,000 income per month on one website.

Hope your 2016 was as successful as mine. And wish that 2017 is even more amazing!!!

3 important questions to start the year on the right foot

How many of you have started planning the year ahead? You are all aware that ”failing to plan is planning to fail” as Alan Lakein would say.

How many of you are tired of planning and not achieving their goals. You set objectives and then, come January 2nd, as 90% of other people, you forget them. Or worse, you have decided to no longer have any ”New Year resolutions”, goals, or dreams because you don’t want to be disappointing again, or you fear that your friend will mock you if you fail.

Well, first of all, who care about what others think, right? And if they haven’t tried anything and, therefore, never failed, doesn’t make them more successful, on the contrary.

I want you to set goals and achieve them! Therefore, here are 3 questions you might ask that would help you.

1- What are 10 things I would really really really want to achieve this year?

Here you can list 10 goals (big or very small) that you want to achieve. You need not share this information with anyone and I seriously recommend you don’t, for many reasons.

The second question is:

2- How would achieving all these goals make me feel, why do I want to achieve them?

Here, list at least 25 reasons why you want to reach those objectives. And describe in full length how you would feel: successful, relieved, happy, relaxed, stable, healthier… And, please, DWELL on the feelings every single day. Read that list of motivations and bathe yourself in the positive feelings of having achieved your goals everyday for at least 15 minutes.

Your brain feeds off the positive energy and will become much more creative in finding ways for you to reach those goals.

3- What can I do (3 actions) every day to reach that goal?

List 3 things, big or small you can do to get there. These things might change over the course of the year. More actions might be added with time. The most important is that you add them in your planner and do them.

You can divide large tasks into small ”chewable” tasks so you can easily add it to your schedule.

Expect the positive you seek because the positive seeks you. Every time you expect a negative outcome, you shut the door to the positive that was just about to walk in…

Hope this helps. If you need a boost and a success coach with a proven record to make sure you get ”there” fast, let me know: slavicainc@gmail.com

You might unknowingly be suffering from ”Silent Desperation” and how to heal from it?

I met a man once who seemed to have everything one could ever want: A beautiful quarter of a million dollar sailboat, a younger beautiful smart fit wife, a beautiful (I know I keep on saying beautiful, read on) house in the Mountains…

He drank a lot even if he said he didn’t. But I noticed. He used to open more after the third drink and, one day, he admitted it. He named his illness ”silent desperation” and I understood exactly what it was,

Silent desperation is having everything everyone would think represents the perfect life, and yet, at the same time, feeling a tremendous void which seems impossible to fill. And, because you possess all the obvious wants and needs, you have to shut up about your pain. Because, really, who is going to take you seriously? You will hear people say ”are you actually complaining?” or ‘,what the heck is your problem, you got it all?”…

And yet, your pain is real. If, at this point, you are not suffering from ”silent desperation”, still read on and share this post for those who are.

In the case of Mr. X, he tried to avoid or heal or escape his SDS (Silent Desperation Syndrome) by cheating on his wife, travelling a lot, buying and spending money to compensate for some pain he couldn’t put the finger on, drinking and feeling sad. A sadness that seemed incurable.

What was the problem, really? It took me a while but I figured out not only the ”what” and ”why” but the “how” to cure it. (did you share the article yet? It would be a good time now)

By the way, SDS appears at any age. Maybe your kids have it

The what and why:

1- A lack of self esteem. If you don’t love yourself enough (and 90% of people lack of it), nothing in the world will fill that inner void. You will end up sabotaging your life, drinking or taking drugs to numb the pain you feel, a pain that seemed to have always been there.

2- Guilt.  It start with feeling ashamed and not knowing why. The guilt is rooted deep because it comes from a feeling of ”I must have done something wrong” to not be loved enough and not feel like I am enough.  The guilt leads to 2 consequences: you will get angry and very sensitive when someone says or does something that reminds you that you are supposedly ”not good enough”. Secondly, you will create circumstances that make you feel guilty because it is an emotion you will become confortable with.

For example, you do drugs and say something completely outrageous to a loved one. That makes you feel not good enough leading to pain + you feel guilty from what you said so you want to numb the pain. Therefore yo take drugs which cause you to feel guilty so want to numb that pain so you take drugs… You see the vicious circle.

By the way, I speak of drugs and alcohol but you can replace that by ”workaholism”, sex addiction, gambling…

3- Lack of goals: Everything that does not grow, eventually dies. When not challenged, a being does not grow. One of the human needs is diversity. With lack of, we become to search desperately for it. Addiction creates diversity. The surprise element in ”I don’t know what disaster I will create but I know it will be different than what I usually live”

The consequences:

SDS doesn’t affect you only mentally. Guilt is a leading cause of cancer and other degenerative diseases. The Harvard Medical Institute has named ”resentment” a disease.

A lack of self esteem leads to killing yourself slowly. A body and soul which does not feel loved, will die.  It goes into ”auto-destruction” mode. A source for addiction, reckless living, sabotaging success, destroying other people’s lives or your relationships…

Mr. X had nothing to look forward to. He had everything he always dreamed of. I remember as a kid learning about Roman Gary’s suicide. A very well known extremely successful author who had an amazing journey. His eccentric mother had invented a tone of goals and he did them all. And when he did, he killed himself. He said he had nothing to look forward to anymore. I agree, it is extreme. Yet, so many are dead inside long before they die. Are you?

These are the three main root causes of SDS. If you feel I touched a nerve and find yourself thinking ”oh my God, am not alone” or ”I don’t have to shut up anymore”, then you are on the way to healing.

If you need help, I coach people and help them heal faster. I have helped people who were followed by psychoanalysts for 10 to 30 years, getting them out of medication. I helped people cure their cancers (read here, I said I helped and not I cured). The mind can either by your best ally or your worse enemy. I bring people back to life.

If you need me, contact me at slavicainc (@) gmail.com. If you don’t and you liked this articled (if it made some kind of sense), share it. You might save someone’s life. You actually might know someone with SDS. Or you may not want to admit it is you, yet 🙂

Sending you all lots of love. We all can use more of it.

What is the Relationship between Success and Fear…

People say “success is feeling the fear and doing it anyway”…Yes, that is true.

Yet success is also:

Never being afraid to feel fear

Feeling confortable being scared to death

Proportional to the amount of fear you can handle before taking a step back or not

Differentiating from real fear to illusions of ”what might go wrong”

Facing your fears head on, fearless

Being OK with the worse scenario becoming real

Having fallen so many times that you can get up before your face hits the ground so you have no fear of failing again

Knowing that you will lose losers and being OK knowing that you might have been one of them

Sharing it with the right people by losing the fear that some will take advantage

Driven by fear of never having lived life to the fullest

What do you think the link between fear and success is?

http://slavicabogdanov.com

Creating a creative mind. Part 3: Building your brain muscles.

Many people have asked me how I have developed such a creative mind not only because of all the work I have done but also for my ability to find the most creative solutions to the most seemingly insolvable problems.

I wanted to offer you 3 of my top tips for creating a creative mind. One was about emptying your brain; second was about visualizing success. The third is about building your brain muscles.

The brain can be developed just as any other part of your body. Just as your qualities and habits. They are all developed through time. Scientists have recently discovered neuroplasticity: the ability for the brain to transform itself throughout ones life time. A very positive discovery as we used to believe that the brain stopped its development at a certain point in time.

One of the best ways to develop your brain is by training it. I wouldn’t suggest training your brain in memorizing information that will not serve you or piling up negative memories or a past you would not want to re-create.

I suggest you train your brain in two ways:

1- Learn

Read read read. Watch videos, go to seminars. Develop a curious brain by learning and opening up to new mental experiences. Learn something about a subject you are not necessarily interested in so you can muscle up your brain. Learn more and more about subjects you love and that please you as you provoke endorphine in your brain which will enable you to learn more and be happier.

What ever doesn’t grow, dies. learn more each day. Challenge yourself to read all you can about a topic. Incorporate what you have learned in your experience so you can grow as an individual.

2- Solve problems

“People love the surprises they love. They call the others, problems. But,we need both in order to grow”. Tony Robbins.

Don’t hide away from solving problems. Try new life experiences in order to face new problems that will scare the living daylights out of you. Why? because the more problems you solve, the more you can solve. And your brain gets better at solving problems. And, one day, you realize that all problems can be viewed as a mathematical that needs to be solved. A puzzle that needs to be completed. Fear dissipate, and endorphine gets created which help you learn and grow even more.

For instance, turn off your phone or your GPS and get lost. Head to an unknown area and find your way. Ask a friend if he or she has a problem to solve and practice solving it. You will find that there are many ways to solve a problem as there are many roads to help you get back home. Never stop at the first solution but question your brain to find you 10-20-30 different solutions.

When you solve other people’s problems, you notice that they are impersonal (you d not take them personally) and therefore you can distant yourself enough to find the answers. You understand then that you can use the same technique for your own problems. Distancing yourself from them and not taking them so personally. You can even start viewing them as games, equations, opportunities to grow, opportunities to develop a new way to get what you want. No longer a problem.

When faced with your problem, write it down clearly on paper, as a question (how can I solve), google it if you want to cheat and head right for the solution. At least one person on this planet had to face the same challenge and solved it. Chances are they left some breadcrumbs on the web because everyone loves sharing their success story.

You will notice that, if your problem is written clearly, it will encompass parts of the solution. The clearer the problem, the clearer the solution. You can also use “Toyota’s 5 whys” system to solve your problem.

As for being creative. Creativity in solving problems develops creativity for everything else. But if you want to be more creative in writing, for example, challenge your brain to write in utter strict formats. Write a paragraph without using a word with the letter “a” or “r”. Spend 30 minutes describing your chair or the wall.

Russians used to send their athletes to run in thigh high snow. The idea was that if you can develop tolerance, endurance and resistance in an extreme difficult environment, a “normal” one will feel extremely easy and you will outperform everyone who has only trained in “normal” conditions. I had a friend who was driving car in circuits. He told me that, when driving on the highway, he saw everyone is slow motion because he had trained his brain to drive in high speeds.

If you train a creative mind to solve difficult problems real or invented, you will find it very easy to solve any “normal” problem. If you train it to create work in extreme restrictive rules, you will find it very easy to write in a “day to day” style. If you develop your muscles to run in water or mud; you will be much more effective on solid ground.

It is all a question of practice. As a child, I loved to work on untying the knots created on my father’s chef aprons in the dryer. I used to love puzzles. I took classes on creative writing and loved writing poems with restrictive rules. I also lived many harsh conditions when thinking fast in creative ways to find solutions makes the difference between life and death. It has been a life long training.

You can achieve anything you put your mind to. And your mind has the ability to solve any given problem if the problem is given clearly. The more you muscle up your brain, the easier it will get.

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10 ways to defeat fear and improve your productivity

Whether it is fear of failure, fear of success, fear of what other’s might think or say, fear of public speaking, fear of not being able to solve a problem… Fear blocks our ability to focus, come up with creative solutions or advance towards our goals.

We all have fears. They are normal and we need them. Fears have contributed to the preservation of our species and still help us in dangerous situations. In order to walk beyond fear or in spite of  fear; you need t first understand what kind of fear you are dealing with.

Real fear comes when we are facing a predator (an animal with big teeth or a person who might hurt us). That kind of fear helps us to immediately take a course of action: Flight or flee reactions which is normal and needed. All other thoughts are blocked in order to be only focused on the situation at hand.

The second kind of fear is created in our mind, our imagination. We project in the future an outcome we absolutely do not desire. That creates anxiety and provokes doubts about our current situation. We might plague our vision of the future with our current reality, extrapolate the circumstances without adding important factors such as : will, brain, lucky brakes, persistence and the unknown.

Fear prevents us from thinking. It blocks our neo-cortex and jams our creativity. Fear of anything is associated immediately with death, a bigger fear. And faced with death, we lose sight of everything else. It is imperative to overcome fear in order to increase productivity.

Here are 10 ways I use and coach people on that are very effective on overcoming fear, destroying it, ignoring it, …

1- Write it down on paper:

Write down what ever scares the living daylights out of you: You’ll get fired, you don’t have enough money, your project will be a huge disaster, you will lose all your friends, you will die (well of course, eventually)…

In light, darkness disappears. Some of your fears will immediately evaporate when you write them down. They were strengthen by your relentlessness avoidance.

2- Prove them wrong

For those who persist in the light of day, on paper. Write all the evidence you can think of that they are wrong. One of those evidence that can be proven is that nothing in the past is proof of the same reoccurring in the future simply because you know better. If you can find more evidence, go on a hunt.

Carry a piece of paper and notice everything that proves the fear wrong. By switching your brain to the contrary of what you thought, you will start noticing different realities around you that will prove what you want. Search and you will find.

3- Do, do, do, do

In action, fear dissipates. If you are fearful of a lack of something, make a list of everything you can do (search on the net by asking <<how<<) and start doing. It is in movement that you keep your balance. When you stand still, your mind may go in overdrive.

Create a substantially long and detailed to-do list and work at crossing off things you have done. This will build your self esteem and your self confidence and you will boost your level of energy.

4- Breathe

I know it sounds so corny. But, most people don’t know how to breathe. The deeper, longer you inhale; the longer you exhale; the more relieved you will feel. Act as if relieved and you’ll end up becoming it and the more relaxed and relieved you become, the more creative solutions you will generate, eventually bringing you closer to your destination. Learn to breath deeply all the time.

5- Look ahead and not besides you

A mistake most people do is to look at the problem and not their desired outcome. Fear, stress, anxiety… are indicators that you are thinking about what you do not want to see happen. Guess what? It has not happened yet and probably will not.

But focus on a ditch and you’ll end up driving in it. If you focus on what you do not want, it will expand in your brain and eventually you will create that eventuality in your future. The future is a blank canvas on which you can paint what ever your heart desires. But, if you paint a dark outcome, that is what you will create. There are an infinite amount of possible outcome. You chose.

6- Stop thinking about it

There is a theory I am starting to believe in a lot as I tested it many times. It states that the more you look at a boiling pot of water, the slower the water will boil. Really weird but I feel it is so right.

Things happen when you least expect them. The awaited phone call from a lost love when you actually meet someone new. The letter of acceptance to the out of town college you dreamed of going to when you find a job you love right where you are. The pregnancy just as you adopted a child…

Why is that? Is that a way of the Angels up above to make fun of us? Nope. I believe two things happen. The first is we attract what we are. So, we have more chances to attract that which will make us happy when we already are happy. That we will attract that what we wanted when we feel we already have everything.

I also believe their is kind of big push and pull equilibrium in the Universe. The more we pull on something when we want to have it, the more the Universe conter-balances that energy by pulling in the opposite direction. When we let go and tend to our lives, the thing we wanted comes to us naturally.

7- Some things you can control

We all need to accept the fact that we can’t control everything that happens in our lives. This comes from a real control freak. I don’t know if you’ve ever played chess or backgammon or monopoly on your own (is it just me?) but it’s get boring pretty quickly. The element of surprise needs to be included for our lives to gain a sense of magic and excitement.

I personally make a list diving the page in two section. My to-do and God’s to-do. Some things cannot be controlled so let them go to the powers at be and focus on your end of the deal. Do your best on your end and let go of the rest.

8- Catch a squirrel

I used to do this fun thing with my dad when I was a kid. Thank God he wasn’t one of these dad’s always worried her daughter would get hurt. We use to sit next to each other on a bench with crushed nuts all over us. Sit in silence. At first, nothing would happen.

But, after a while, we would see one, then two, then a dozen or thirty squirrels surround us. They would all be frightened at first. They would jump, grab a nut and run away. After a while, all squirrels would comfortably sit on our heads, shoulders, laps, knees, feet… Chinese tourists would stop and take pictures. Some posing with us. Today, I guess our videos would go viral.

Have you ever tried to catch a squirrel running after it? After you ever tried to keep someone close by chasing after them? What ever you run after, tends to run away. Learning the art of stillness will help you get what you want much faster.

9- Focus on the outcome

Practice imagining the outcome you wish for and how that would make you feel. Every morning write your desired outcome (for the day, the date, the interview, the sales pitch…) and bathe yourself in the thought that you already have that. Celebrate the moment as if you already have successfully achieved that. Then, let it go and go about your day.

Have a 4X5 card with you upon which you have written your desired outcomes (short or long term goals) and, every time you feel an stress attack, ready it and focus on having already achieved it.

10- Be grateful

Remember, your fear is only showing one thing missing out of a larger picture where you already have achieved a bunch of things. Appreciate all that you already have.

I believe the opposite of fear (or the vaccine to fear) is love. And gratitude is a component of pure liquid love. Every morning, get into the habit of writing the 10 things you are most grateful for and that will immediately shift your energy level.

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