Entrepreneurship

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins (Part 1 – Decisions)

Awaken the Giant within - Tony Robbins

I just finished reading Tony Robbins’ book Awaken the Giant Within and I want to share with you some powerful ideas from the book.

1 – The Power of Truly Committed Decisions

To take control of our lives, we need to take control of our consistent actions. I’m not talking about the things that we do once in a while but what we do consistently.

But what precedes all our actions? What is the father of all action? What drives all our actions? The answer to all these questions is one word – decisions.

You take action because you decided to take action. If you don’t take action, it’s again your decision not to take action.

People instead of making decisions complain about their conditions. I came from a dysfunctional family. My parents were really poor. I didn’t get the right education.

No one denies that there are people who are born with advantages. Genetic advantages, family advantages, environmental advantages, relationship advantages. However, for every “privileged” person I can give you an example of a non-privileged person that against all odds smashed all their barriers by making the decisions of what to do with their lives.

But what sort of decisions? Truly committed decisions. The moment you make a decision, it’s a commitment. There is no way back.

We have disempowered the word decision in our lives. We have associated the word decision with something like I should do that one day, I ought to do that one day, it would be nice to do that, wouldn’t it? No. If you decided that you have to do something, you must do it and you have to take action now.

A real decision is measured by the fact that you have taken new action. If there is no new action, sorry you haven’t decided yet.

A truly committed decision has to be unshakable no matter what happens. The stock market collapses, your girlfriend dumps you, your “friends” think you went crazy.

Your decisions need to stay there strong and powerful. Because your decisions reflect your values, your purpose, what you came to this world for. You decisions need to stay consistent with the quality of your spirit, your inner calling.

Make decisions often. The more decisions you make, the better you’re gonna get. Muscles get stronger with use and so do our decision muscles. Feel the excitement that comes from taking the committed decisions that shift your life towards the direction you wanna go.

Learn from your decisions. There are gonna be times when you screw up. Don’t focus on the short term setbacks but focus on the lessons that will save you time, money and pain in the future.

Build flexibility. Once you decide who you want to become, what is you wanna get, be flexible in your approach. Try different ways, learn throughout the process, experiment, don’t become rigid in your approach.

Enjoy making decisions. One moment, the moment that you make a true decision can change your entire life. The moment you decide to quit smoking, to buy a gym membership, to quit your job.

A truly committed decision is the force that can change your life.

Angelos

PS: For those who are asking about camera and lighting gear have a look:
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Should we Focus on Strengths or Weaknesses?

strenghts-weaknesses

Hey LiveDivers,

Have you read the title of this post? Well, I don’t know the answer. I want you to answer this question for me.

This is what Gary Vaynerchuk says: “You need to bet on your strengths and not give a fuck about what you suck at.” Watch here.

In another video he says the same.”Legacy is better than currency”. Watch here.

Now, Peter Ducker in a popular Harvard Business Review Classics (Managing Oneself) says the same: The reason people don’t succeed is that they don’t know their strengths. He suggests that we can only find out what our strengths are by looking at our past successes and failures (he calls that feedback analysis). Then, we should only invest in those strengths every single day. Also, we shouldn’t try to change everything at once. The key is in getting rid of the bad habits and continuously investing in our strong areas.

Here is an excellent summary of the book Managing Oneself written by the successful entrepreneur Tai Lopez.

On the flip side now I have to say the following:

  1.  What if you have built your strength to such an extent that any marginal improvement towards your strength is not that important as opposed to an improvement in an area that you have always neglected.
  2. What if your strength is not as enjoyable anymore as it was before? OK, you most probably enjoy things that you’re good at but what if you don’t find something as sexy as before anymore?
  3. What if you have multiple passions and want to live a diversified life? What if you are a mathematician in your 30’s and a degree in history is now more interesting than a PhD in mathematics?

My dad used to be a teacher in primary school. He was a really good teacher. All the kids loved him. I’ve probably got some of his talent and done lots of teaching myself too. I’ve taught mathematics, languages, music and the feedback I’ve been getting all these years is really exceptional. However, I haven’t always enjoyed the process of teaching. Why? Because teaching sucks all your energy. 3-4 hours of real teaching can leave you dead. Does the fact that I can be a good teacher means I should become one? Not sure.

Two years ago I wrote a book about how we can become better learners and memorise better what we learn. I spent six months reading tons of research in cognitive psychology. There is no evidence that we should learn according to our preferred learning style (visual, acoustic, verbal, kinaesthetic) if we want to learn more effectively. On the contrary, there are studies that have shown the opposite. For example, visual learners learn better if they start reading or listening.

In another recent Harvard Business Review podcast, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor at University College London and Columbia University says there is no scientific evidence that focusing on your strengths guarantees success.

The problem he says is that we usually compare our own strengths between them instead of comparing our strengths against the same strengths in our peers. Well, I don’t fully agree with that either. Let’s say that more than half of the population is better at something we like and are best at. Giving that something up and looking at something we’re not good at doesn’t sound like a good strategy either.

Professor Chamorro-Premuzic says also that overdeveloping a strong area can become a liability rather than an asset. For example, a really ambitious person can become greedy or someone with good social skills can become a manipulator. But that’s again something you can’t control. Here we’re talking about people who want to get better and achieve the most of life like you and me. I don’t find convincing the reasoning here. Read for yourself. Tell me what you think.

My gut feeling as I’m writing this article is that we should do what feels right and not what we think is right. We live in a “KPI and ROI” society where productivity and optimisation are everything. We put our mind first and our heart second.

I think you shouldn’t follow anyone’s advice. Do what feels right to you. Do you want to explore something new? Do it. Do you find challenge in improving a skill that you thought you were not good at? Do it! You may find out that you’re good at it in the end.

 

Can you leave a comment below? I want to know your opinion.

-Angelos

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The Minimalistic Entrepreneur

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Being an entrepreneur is tough. Gary Vaynerchuk says that entrepreneurship sucks! Watch this video.

You quit your 9 to 5 job to build an online business to become your own boss, to work from home, to travel more. You are looking for more freedom and you end up in your own prison!

I guarantee entrepreneurship can get f***** overwhelming. I now work harder and longer than I used to work in investment banking.

Minimalism is not just the key to becoming a successful entrepreneur. It’s the only way to go as an entrepreneur. Here are my best tips and lessons I’ve learned going through a ton of bad days as Gary says.

Prioritise. Before you start doing any work in the morning ask yourself what the 2 -3 most important tasks are.

I don’t think that changing the theme on your wordpress site is your number 1 priority of the day (I changed my theme recently but I resisted doing it for a whole month as I had other priorities).

Look at your to-do list. Do the stuff that adds the most important value. Be damn strict with this!

Remember the 80/20 rule. 20% of the things you do are responsible for the 80% of your success. Focus on that 20%. Most of the time you know what is important but still you don’t do it. You fool yourself. Stop that! Reconsider your day-to-day priorities. I’m repeating myself, I know but it’s so important.  

Don’t check your inbox every five minutes. Set multiple alarm clocks at 11am and 4am every day to check your email. Check your email only twice a day. It wastes your time and it kills your focus and quality of your work. I’ll tell you more about this shortly.

Stop multitasking. Our brains are designed to focus on one thing at a time. MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller says that when people think that they multitask, in essence they switch from one task to another very rapidly. Read this article.

When we complete a tiny task (answering an email, sending a text message, posting a post on Facebook), we are hit with a dollop of dopamine, our reward hormone. Our brains are addicted to dopamine and we switch tasks quickly because that gives us lots of instant doses of gratification.

These instant gratifications make us feel that we accomplish a lot whereas in reality we don’t.

Multitasking reduces the quality and efficiency of our work. Organising thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information becomes more difficult.

A study at the University Of London also showed that people who multitask while performing cognitive tasks experience IQ drops. In fact, the IQ drops were similar to what you see in individuals who smoke cannabis or didn’t sleep the night before.

Multitasking has also been found to increase cortisol, the stress hormone. The rapid fire-ups of the brain leave us mentally exhausted very quickly even when the working day has barely started!

The biggest instigator of multitasking? Our inboxes. Some studies have shown that even when you have the possibility to multitask when you know for example that you have unread emails in your inbox can reduce your IQ by 10 points! For men, IQ drops can be even worse up to 15 points.

The constant thrill of having new bolded emails in our inbox keeps us distracted. A McKinsey Global Institute Study found that employees spend 28% of their time checking their inboxes.

Studies have also shown that the damage of multitasking in the long run can be permanent. MRI scans showed that people who multitask consistently show less brain density in the anterior cingulate. That’s the area responsible for empathy and emotional control.

So, stop multitasking now, check your email twice a day, put your phone in a silent mode and focus on the task at hand.

Don’t skip breaks. It’s tempting to skip breaks (and even lunch) when you have lots of work to do. However, research again has shown that those who take regular breaks are actually more productive than those who don’t. Sounds trivial again? It does. But we skip breaks (including myself of course) and we feel we’re working like a supernatural machines. Total illusion.

A great app to use is Pomodoro One. Pomodoro One has an alarm that goes off after a set interval. Then, it sounds an alarm and gives you a break from work. When the break’s over, it automatically starts timing your work again. You can use it on both Desktop and phone.

You don’t need business cards. It’s a waste of paper. I get angry when I see so many business cards on the streets. If someone wants to keep in touch with you, give them your telephone number, or your email. If they are really interested in you, they will contact you. I’m sure that the chances are higher that someone loses your contact when getting your business card rather than saving your number in their phone.

Unsubscribe. How many emails do you get that you don’t even read or open. When you first decide to declutter your inbox you may get overwhelmed. So, unsubscribe as new emails come in. Don’t try to do it all at once. You’ll drive yourself mad.

Delete the Facebook App from your iPhone. It’s unbelievable how much time we spend on Facebook. The best thing I’ve done in my life is deleting the Facebook App from my phone. Not only did I find inner peace staying away from the Facebook “blink-blink”, but I also solved the common problem of the iPhone battery! The Facebook app is probably the #1 energy monster app. OK, to be fair it’s not the app itself; it’s our addiction of checking Facebook on our phones.

Don’t check your sales every 5 minutes. As an entrepreneur you strive for every sale. You want to see your income increase. It’s your dream. You don’t want to go back to office job. You want your financial freedom like nothing else.

In the beginning, I was addicted to checking the sales every minute. How many more sales? I used to check sales on multiple sites every hour. I used to get up in the morning and check the sales in my computer with my eyes half-closed. All this checking takes so much time and as email checking kills your quality of work. All this checking adds zero value to your business. Dedicate every minute on how you can make your product better. Spend your time on that and only that. Check your sales once a week, or once in two weeks.

It’s the same with running a race. If you constantly look around you while you run to check on others, you lose focus. For those who run 100m even a thought can cost you the race.  

Launch it. then make it better. Have you heard of the concept of the Minimum Value Product (MVP)? Don’t wait to launch your product until it’s perfect! It will never be perfect. There will always be something more to do before you launch it. Create a product that adds value to the people. Gauge interest. Listen to the feedback. Your customers will tell you how you can make it better. Again I recommend some further reading here. What else? The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

Outsource. I’ve said this again before. You can’t do everything on your own when you run a business. I know you can do this task very well yourself. And that task. And that task. I know it will take you just an hour. But it will be an hour that you could devote to something else that could add more value.

This is how Muller explains it: “Take the time to eliminate the pointless, the superfluous, the questionable. Then decide what you can hire out or delegate. Then focus on the work that only you can do, that you can do best, and that you can do for the most impact on your business.“

That’s all for now. This post is about the Minimalistic Entrepreneur. It shouldn’t get too long.

If this post gave you some good tips, can you share it now please? It will take you 5 sec.

Kindness and smiles,

Angelos

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