Self-promotion and why it matters if you want success

Self-promotionThe idea of self-promotion is something with which many readers will feel slightly uncomfortable.

Perhaps it leaves you feeling a slight sense of unease dear reader; the idea of ‘blowing your own trumpet’ and making sure that others know all about what you have to offer?

By self-promotion, I am referring to personal visibility, particularly in the office or workplace.

Visibility matters:

Does personal visibility really matter that much, you may ask?

Well, that depends on how you think about it really.

If you’re happy to plod along and just accept whatever life decides you should have then it probably doesn’t matter much at all.

However, if success is your aim or if you want to enjoy more of what life can offer then personal visibility is essential.

Think about it. If I don’t know you exist, how can you be a solution to my problem?

How can I possibly know what you have to offer unless I have some visibility of you in action?

And then, if you hide your light under a bushel, how can you build a reputation?

Let’s face it, if I don’t know you exist, then to me you don’t exist at all.

Essential ingredient for success:

If success is your aim, then you have to be seen by people who matter and you must make an impression on them too. That’s important, like it or not.

People need a reason to remember you. So make sure you give them a reason to remember you.

Ideally, you want them to like and respect you. Even if people just love to hate you then that’s better than them being totally indifferent to you.

At least you’ll be known. You have to be visible. As the saying goes, ability without visibility is a liability. It is to you anyway.

The product YOU:

The product that is ‘You’ will only sell if people are aware it exists.

So self-promotion and personal public relations initiatives play an important role in building your reputation and creating a demand for what only you have to offer.

Humility is all very well but diffidence is at best unwise.

You’ll never get anywhere unless you have visibility with the people that matter.

Think about the most successful people; people such as Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Elvis Presley and John Lennon. Sadly some are no longer with us. Nevertheless, these examples are still valid.

They all make or made an impression on you.

You may not like them but you cannot or could not ignore them. They all have or had that special quality known as presence. You couldn’t fail to notice them. They all have or had self-belief too.

So make sure you get yourself noticed. Stand out in the crowd and give people a reason to remember you.

And remember this old Arab Proverb; Be contrary, Be known.

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How to break a bad habit and improve your life

How to break a bad habitWhen it comes to bad habits, we can all be guilty, at least to some degree. So people often consider the question, how to break a bad habit?

Do you have any bad habits dear reader? Now be honest with yourself.

I refer to those little, irritating patterns of behaviour you simply can’t help. Those obsessions you may have occasionally. Perhaps you have one or two bad habits you’d really like to break?

Now habits can be hard to break of course, particularly bad ones.

So here’s another question. Could you break bad habits simply by being more curious about them?

Well the psychiatrist Dr Judson Brewer certainly has an opinion to offer on that issue.

Dr Judson Brewer studies the relationship between mindfulness and addiction and in the TEDTalk included in this post he shares his views on everything from smoking to over-eating to all those other things we do even though we know they’re bad for us.

If you want to learn more about the mechanism of habit development then you’ll find this video interesting and it’s definitely worth watching.

If you have habits you’d really like to break then it would certainly make sense for you to learn more about how you developed those habits in the first place.

The more you understand the better you’ll be able to take action and break those bad habits.

So take a few minutes now and listen to what Dr Brewer has to say. It’ll be well worth a little of your time I promise.

How to break a bad habit:

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5 secret steps to tackling life and achieving success

If you’re looking for a formula for achieving success, dear reader, then I think you’ll find this blog post useful.

Many desire success but few really achieve it. So it’s useful to study successful people, identify their approaches and use them as role models. If something worked for them then it might just work for you.

In the embedded video, Hollywood legend, movie star, two-term Governor of California and former Mr Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares his five secret steps to tackling life and achieving success.

Essentially these are his five rules to excel at whatever you choose to do.

He has an interesting story to tell and his story proves that no obstacle is too big to overcome and no vision, too big to achieve if you’re determined enough and you’re prepared to work hard.

Change the world:

To summarise Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rules, they are:-

  1. Find your vision and follow it;
  2. Never, ever think small;
  3. Ignore the Naysayers;
  4. Work your ass off; and
  5. Don’t just take, give something back.

However, if you listen to Arnold’s story, his burning desire was to move to the United States and become a big star. This was his reason why.

Initially, he had no idea how to achieve that goal but a little piece of good fortune came his way.

Arnold happened to read an article in a magazine about a man just like him who achieved just what he wanted to achieve. The article explained how the man did it and Arnold used that success template as the basis for pursuing his own goal.

Identify successful people and do what they did:

Once he knew his ‘why?‘, Arnold Schwarzenegger just needed to work out a way to get there. Knowing your ‘why?‘ will always, eventually, lead you to your ‘how?’.

Once Arnold knew his purpose and his passion, he was always going to find a way to achieve success. His determination and his willingness to do whatever was necessary saw to that.

Had he not been lucky enough to identify a role model through a magazine article, something else would have guided him because that’s the nature of life. When you’re searching for something you’ll tune in to all the little clues you need.

Once you know your ‘why?’, you develop a keen sense of that subject and everyone else involved.

Trust yourself:

If you know your why then you’ll have the drive and determination to pursue your goal.

Nothing happens by accident of course. You must make it happen.

So figure out for yourself what it is you really, really want. What would make you happy? What would you regard as a real achievement?

Then find a role model.

Someone who’s done what you want to do. Identify how they did it and copy what they’ve done. If their approach worked for them, it can work for you.

Avoid distractions:

If you want to be successful then don’t allow ‘time sucks’ to throw you off course.

Television and social media are the biggest time wasters of all. So avoid them.

Time is a precious resource and successful people don’t waste it. So if you want to be successful, don’t waste your time either. Put every minute to good use.

Know your ‘Why?’

The key message today, both from this article and the embedded video, is that you must know your ‘why?’.

That’s the starting point for success.

So if you’ve yet to do that then I suggest that’s where you start, if you want to be successful.

And remember this; if not you, who? If not now, when?

Achieving success is possible and people do it all the time. So can you, if you’re determined and prepared to work hard enough to get it.

Good luck.

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How we’re damaged by our school days

Could our school days have damaged us? Is that even possible?

Were they the best days of our lives, as we’re encouraged to believe, or could our school days have been detrimental to our mental well-being and self-esteem?

This is an interesting question. So let’s think about it for a minute.

Certainly, many people will have had mostly good experiences during their school days.

However, there will also be some for whom their school days will have left them mentally scarred and with a sense of failure. That much is philosophically self-evident, surely?

For instance, perhaps at school, people such as those to which I refer never quite achieved the grades their parents or teachers thought they should.

Perhaps they were the last to be picked for a sports team regularly?

In either case, how would such experiences have made them feel?

What impact would they have had on their mental well-being?

Perhaps they felt they were not quite good enough?

Possibly a little bit bruised and embarrassed by their inability to achieve what they believed was expected of them?

Adults may have thought that putting pressure on them would motivate them to do well, yet it probably left them feeling inadequate.

Your birth date matters:

Do you recognise such feelings, dear reader?

The problem with the school experience is that the age range of our classmates is spread over a whole year. And that’s a lot more significant than it first appears.

Someone whose birthday is at the beginning of September will be a year older than someone whose birthday is towards the end of August, despite both being in the same academic year.

Now it might not seem much, but one year at that time in our lives makes a huge difference in terms of our development, both mentally and physically.

So, what does this mean?

It means that if your birthday is at the end of the school year, then you’re at a significant disadvantage relative to some of your much older classmates.

That disadvantage carries with you right through your school years, if you’re affected by it.

And it’s a disadvantage that extends not just to your academic studies but also to sports and physical activity too.

Success breeds positive reinforcement:

Most importantly, it’s not just the fact that you’re behind in terms of your physical and mental development. It’s also a fact that success breeds positive reinforcement.

Older students benefit from the constant reinforcement and encouragement of being told, ‘Well done!‘, while younger students struggle to keep up unless they’re exceptionally gifted.

Even if people are of above-average ability for their age, they can still be at a disadvantage relative to older classmates during their school days, particularly if those older classmates are also of above-average ability.

Inevitably, at school, people are compared to their peers, and statistics show that the older ones tend to do better because of an inherent age advantage. That’s true with sports as well as academic subjects.

If younger students appear to perform less well, frequently, that’s interpreted as them not being quite as good as their older peers.

Advantage goes with age:

And few people, least of all our parents, recognise that the system essentially does not favour younger members of the class. It puts them at a disadvantage.

The obvious question is, how many people have gone through life feeling like a bit of a loser due to their experiences of a school system that tends to work against them simply because of the month in which they were born?

And how many people never fully recover from the inevitable damage done to their confidence and self-esteem during those all-too-important developmental years?

More importantly, our school days not only affect how we feel about ourselves. They also impact how others perceive us to be as well.

A reputation for being a ‘Straight A’ student beats being a bit of an academic ‘also ran’. No one questions whether the former had an inherent advantage over the latter.

How we’re perceived by others matters. Think about it. Their perception of us results in all the negative talk we often hear whenever we express ambition, which can affect our self-esteem.

I’m sure you know what I mean, as no doubt many readers will be familiar with the experience. Something like:-

You:Oh, I’d like to be a doctor.

Parent:Oh, don’t be ridiculous, with your grades?

And so on.

Our need for encouragement:

People will always give you reasons why you’re not good enough when what you need is encouragement.

With encouragement, you could make it in whatever pursuit that makes you feel truly energised.

If you’re someone who experienced disadvantage for whatever reason then let me tell you something. You’re as good as anyone and you should acknowledge that to yourself, constantly.

Schooldays represent a very small portion of life and they’re significant only in so far as they are only one of many experiences we’ll have in life. Certainly, they don’t define you.

If your schooldays were a good experience then fine. If not, so what?

You can still achieve your ambitions with sufficient hard work and determination.

It doesn’t matter whether others believe you can do it, just as long as you believe you can do it.

There’s no such thing as a failure:

Remember; there’s no such thing as a failure. That label does not belong to people.

Failure is just an unwanted outcome and a learning opportunity. It’s not a person.

You have enormous potential. We all do.

Everyone is capable of achieving much more than they could ever think possible. With determination and hard work, we can all achieve great things.

Attitude matters:

Your attitude is much more important than your aptitude when it comes to achieving your goals in life. Believe you can and you will.

However you feel about your past, it’s not too late to become something more than you are now.

You should embrace failure as nothing more than a learning opportunity. It does not define you, and nor should it.

Recognise that just because you didn’t set the world on fire during your school days, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great things now.

No correlation:  

Remember; there’s no correlation between success at school and success in life.

Plenty of ‘Straight A’ students fail to achieve anything significant after they’ve left education behind. Whereas plenty of the less academically successful go on to achieve great things in life.

It’s not about how many times you get knocked down that count but how many times you can get back up and keep going until you get to where you want to be.

Victory is sweeter when it has been achieved following the experience of defeat.

You cannot achieve anything without the experience of at least the occasional failure along the way.

We all start as beginners:

Before anyone achieved success, they started as a complete beginner. And along the road to success, they will have made plenty of mistakes. Anyone who suggests otherwise is either lying or deluded.

If you want to succeed, work hard, make mistakes and learn the lessons as you go.

If you’re determined you’ll find a way to achieve your goals and realise your dreams.

Failure’s not fatal:

Don’t be overwhelmed by any perceived failure. It doesn’t have to be fatal, nor does it imply that you’re not capable of achieving great things.

Never, ever give up until you get to where you want to be. Success can be yours if you want it badly enough. And remember this; it is better to try and fail than never to have tried at all.

Never be afraid to try because there are no failures, only outcomes we didn’t want and lessons to be learned.

Daily Mantra:

Reinforce self-belief by repeating this daily mantra

Go on, get started now. Success is waiting for you.

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27 unique quotes about life to get you thinking

If you’re looking for unique quotes about life, here are 27 that might resonate with you, dear reader.

Enjoy them all.

Unique quotes about life:

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25 quotes reflecting on life that’ll make you think

If you’re looking for quotes reflecting on life, here are 25 that might resonate with you, dear reader.

Enjoy them all.

Quotes reflecting on life:

Quotes reflecting on life
Quotes reflecting on life

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21 Quotes by Nikola Tesla that’ll make you think

As someone who studied electrical engineering, I was always fascinated by the work of great scientists like Nikola Tesla. So today, I thought exploring some quotes by Nikola Tesla would be interesting.

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventorelectrical engineermechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. The world we take for granted today owes a lot to the work of scientists like Tesla, so it’s worth listening to what he had to say. Well, I think so anyway.

One or two of his observations might seem quite controversial to modern sensibilities, but I still think it’s worth exploring some of the quotes credited to him.

Here are 21 quotes by Nikola Tesla and I hope you find them interesting.

Please feel free to share them.

Quotes by Nikola Tesla:

  1. I myself eschew all stimulants. I also practically abstain from meat.
  2. I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.
  3. The harness of waterfalls is the most economical method known for drawing energy from the sun.
  4. Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more.
  5. In the twenty-first century, the robot will take the place that slave labour occupied in ancient civilization.
  6. The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
  7. The spread of civilisation may be likened to a fire; first, a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power.
  8. There is no memory or retentive faculty based on lasting impressions. What we designate as memory is but increased responsiveness to repeated stimuli. 
  9. Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.
  10. The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly, no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny.
  11. The history of science shows that theories are perishable. With every new truth that is revealed, we get a better understanding of Nature and our conceptions and views are modified.
  12. Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.
  13. Archimedes was my ideal. I admired the works of artists, but to my mind, they were only shadows and semblances. The inventor, I thought, gives to the world creations which are palpable, which live and work.
  14. I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.
  15. It seems that I have always been ahead of my time. I had to wait nineteen years before Niagara was harnessed by my system, fifteen years before the basic inventions for wireless which I gave to the world in 1893 were applied universally.
  16. By an irony of fate, my first employment was as a draughtsman. I hated drawing; it was for me the very worst of annoyances. Fortunately, it was not long before I secured the position I sought, that of chief electrician to the telephone company.
  17. In a time not distant, it will be possible to flash any image formed in thought on a screen and render it visible at any place desired. The perfection of this means of reading thought will create a revolution for the better in all our social relations.
  18. The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter – for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come and point the way.
  19. If we want to reduce poverty and misery, if we want to give to every deserving individual what is needed for a safe existence of an intelligent being, we want to provide more machinery and more power. Power is our mainstay, the primary source of our many-sided energies.
  20. It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.
  21. With ideas it is like with dizzy heights you climb: At first, they cause you discomfort and you are anxious to get down, distrustful of your own powers; but soon the remoteness of the turmoil of life and the inspiring influence of the altitude calm your blood; your step gets firm and sure and you begin to look – for dizzier heights.

Further reading:

If you’d like to learn more about Nikola Tesla, his autobiography is available in paperback. The book is called:

My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla

You can check it out at Amazon if you click HERE.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. A commission will be received for a purchase made via the links in the text. There will be no additional charge to the purchaser. I appreciate your support. Thank you.

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Success and why you should never quit

Today I want you to consider success and why you should never quit, dear reader.

Achieving any form of success requires determination and a lot of hard work. Anything you want can be yours if you want it badly enough, but nothing’s for free.

The price you’ll pay is in blood, sweat and tears. Long days, late nights and a laser-sharp focus on your goals.

The road to success will also inevitably involve occasional setbacks. That’s the nature of the game we call success. And it is a game where the best players become the winners.

So you’ll need to be single-minded and you’ll need to push yourself very hard. It’s not easy and nor is it meant to be.

From time to time self-doubt will creep into your mind. You’ll start to imagine that maybe you’re not quite good enough. Siren voices in your head will start telling you that it’s all too difficult and that maybe it’s time to quit.

You may even start asking yourself, “Why am I putting myself through all the hard work when I could just spend my life cruising along and having fun?

The problem is, no pain, no gain. And if you quit, you’ll spend your life wondering what might have been.

So just keep your eye on the prize. Nothing worth having was ever easy to achieve. However, it can be done and people do.

You can do it too. All you need is a little self-belief and a genuine desire to make your mark on life.

Just ignore any setbacks; ignore any siren voices in your head, and refuse to give up until you get to where you want to be.

Remember this; quitters never win and winners never quit. Greatness lies within you. So go on, be a winner.

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Does being a success really matter?

So many people are just trying to get through life with as little effort as possible.

Now that’s fair enough if that’s what you want. Then again, do nothing and you’ll get nothing and you’ll be nothing.

Again, maybe you don’t care. Maybe a stress-free life is much more important to you than being driven to achieve. And that’s a reasonable choice to make.

However, we all have enormous potential.

We can all make our mark and make a real contribution to life and the people who matter most to us.

If you want more out of life, then success really is there for the taking.

Yes, it requires a lot of hard work and you will need to hone your skills until you are one of the best at what you do. However others do it, so why not you?

Why shouldn’t you make a real difference?

If you can continually focus on your desired outcome then you can and will succeed.

Go the extra mile and you’ll reach a place worthy of the effort you’ve expended. And remember, there’s very little traffic on the extra mile.

There really is far less competition than you think. For most people, the required effort is just far too much.

So go on, go for it. You’re as good as anyone and better than most. Believe you can and you will.

Being a success does matter because you have enormous potential and the world needs all the potential it can get. The world needs people just like you to make a real difference.

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The real cost of television? The answer will surprise you

The real cost of television

Have you ever considered what the real cost of television is and the effect it has on your life?

When you’ve worked hard all day, I’m sure you find it so easy when you arrive home in the evening, to have a bite to eat and then relax in front of the television. You just passively watch whatever’s on offer because it’s your time now, right?

If you’ve worked hard all day, you deserve a rest, surely?

Anyway, you’ve got a nice television, and it cost you a lot of money, right?

So, of course, you want to make the most of it, don’t you?

If you’ve spent all that money, why would you want to waste such a fine piece of technology by not using it? Surely that’s a reasonable argument?

Opportunity cost:

Well, it’s an argument, of course, but have you ever given serious thought to the real cost of that television to you?

How much do you think it actually costs?

Now, I’m not referring to the price tag in the store when you purchased your television, though even that’s not insignificant.

I’m referring to the opportunity cost of the time wasted passively watching television.

Never forget, time is money.

And time wasted watching television could have been used doing something that would have been far more profitable for you, at least in the long term.

Deep down, I suspect, in your heart, you know that dear reader, don’t you? Nevertheless, knowing and acting on the knowledge you possess are two different things.

The importance of time:

How often do you hear people say things like, I’d love to earn more money; I’d love to have a better job; I’d love to learn another language; I’d love to learn to play the piano; and so on? Then you’ll hear them say if only I had the time.

Do you recognise yourself anywhere there, dear reader?

The simple fact is that when it comes to time, we all have exactly the same amount, 168 hours each week. It all comes down to how you choose to use and prioritize your time.

Time is a resource, like any other:

Successful people recognise that time is their most precious resource and they use it wisely.

People who succeed have a genuine sense of purpose and they’re very focused on their goals. They know what they want and they have a plan as to how they’ll get it.

Do you have a genuine sense of purpose, dear reader?

Have you got a clear idea in terms of where you’re going?

Do you know what it is you want out of life?

Life can be better:

Perhaps life is something that’s just happening to you and you’re just going with the flow?

That’s an acceptable strategy if you’re willing to accept whatever life throws at you.

However, you must ask yourself: Are you really happy with your life and the share of life’s pie you’ve been given so far, or do you want more?

Well, let me tell you this, dear reader. For things to improve, you must first learn to use your time wisely.

Remember: Time is more important than money because you can always get more money, but you can’t get more time.

Secondly, you need a clear sense of direction and your own plan for how you’ll get to where you want to go. Without direction and a plan, you’ll be destined to be used as part of someone else’s plan.

However, that’ll only be for as long as you can serve some useful purpose for them.

Once you no longer serve any purpose for them you’ll cease to be part of their plan. And then you’ll be scratching around looking for another way to earn a living.

The world is an unforgiving place, that’s for sure.

Be a person of value:

Work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money.

However, we don’t just get paid for the hour. Our pay is dictated by the value we put into that hour.

The more value we can add the more we’ll earn.

And to add more value we must be increasing our knowledge and skills constantly.

We reap what we sow.

If we fail to reap, we cannot sow.

And how can you reap if you spend your life passively watching television? Time wasted cannot be recovered.

You’ll get out what you put it:

In my experience, we get out of life exactly what we put in. The more we put in the more we’ll get out.

The obvious question is, how can you get more out of life?

If you’re happy to go through life passively watching television but struggling to make a decent living then that’s fine, if that’s what you want. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Waste as much of your time as you like.

However, if you want more than that then it’s time to start designing the life you want and avoiding time-wasters like television.

It’s time to decide where you’re going; and what you want out of life. It’s time to develop your plan for success. And above all, it’s time to stop wasting your time.

You can be a winner. Anybody can.

However, it does require some effort on your part and a clear sense of direction though. That’s a given.

A great source of inspiration:

And if you’re going to be a winner, in addition to using your time wisely, you’ll also need a constant source of inspiration to keep you motivated.

One of my greatest sources of inspiration is the late, great, business philosopher Jim Rohn.

You’ll find plenty of videos featuring Jim Rohn on YouTube.

However, you might also consider buying one of Jim Rohn’s books or even an audio recording to listen to in your car or on your smartphone or iPad.

One Jim Rohn book (also available as an audio recording) that I can highly recommend is The Art of Exceptional Living.

You can check it out on Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

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