Birds of A Feather Flock Together

“Birds of the same feather flock together.” This saying is known by many but understood only by few. The importance of our associations and the people we “hang around” with and spend most of our time with is one of the two major influences we have in our lives, the second one being the books we read. In this article, I will be focusing exactly on that, our associations. I will talk about why they’re important to our life, how they affect us and also how we can control whether our associations influence us positively or negatively. This is one of the most crucial influences you will have in your life, it can be the factor determining your victory, or your doom and I strongly suggest that you do take a proper interest in this area of knowing if you want to take full control your life.

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Why Should I care?

The associations you create in your life, a.k.a. the people you spend your time with, play a very important role in your personal development. Your associations are probably the single most important influence you have in your life. Ever since you were born, you’ve been around people. Each and every one of these people has left some kind of experience, some kind of impression with you. This could have had a short or a long-term effect on your personality and on your perspective on reality. Considering the fact that nowadays you spend more time with your classmates than with your parents, you can see why people get into trouble when they find the wrong group of friends, or in other words, associate with the wrong people. On the other hand, spending more time with dreamers can help you tremendously in developing a dream of your own. You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.

How Come? I Have Never Felt Any Influence…

Here’s the thing. You often don’t consciously realise that you are being influenced by others, but you are. This, like most of the long term influences in your life, works on the bases of regularity. You can meet a negative person a couple of times and feel no difference. However, after some time, you will start complaining as well, because that’s what you get used to if you spend more time with that person. When I am around specific people regularly, I can sense that my vocabulary changes. When I speak to the people who swear, I end up swearing more often. When I leave that association and hang around my business partners and my mentors more, I speak less vulgarly and more to the point. This is all because of the influence these people have on me. Think about this kind of situations in your life and try to analyse what effect they have left with you.

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So What Should I Do About This?

What you want to do with this, or more specifically who you want to associate with really depends on your situation and your direction. Do you want to become more positive? Search for positive people and spend less time with the negative individuals around you. Do you want to become financially free? Search for the people who are heading in the same direction. Best case scenario, you connect with someone who is already there and who is willing to help you, mentor you to get there as well in your own way. Use all your energy on this, because it will change everything. Remember, this is not only about adding new people into your life, but also about reducing the time spent with the people who affect you negatively. That is the second side of the coin. Think carefully about who you spend most of your time with and where are these people heading. If you’re heading in a similar direction (positivity and ambition-wise), then you’re on the right track.

 

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The Winner Mindset

We often hear about the few of us who have succeeded greatly in their lives. Faces of the people like Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg or Gary Vaynerchuk fill our social media feeds on a daily bases. What is so special about these legendary humans? How have they managed to succeed in such a great manner? They have something the average human doesn’t have. They have the winner mindset. Many will argue that they have been born with such great potential. But the last time I’ve checked, newborns don’t understand how investments and technology work. It is learned. The winner mindset can be developed, the winner skills can be learned and practised. So how come most don’t succeed? That is because we’re brought up to be average. We’re brought up to follow the herd and again, the last time I checked 99% of the people around you fit into that traditional average frame very well. The difference is that these successful individuals decided to step up and developed something you can call a winner mindset. In this article, I will talk about some of the major components of this mindset and how these components affect our success.

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Mindset Vs Skillset

Before I get to the qualities of a winner mindset that I think have to be developed in order to reach any greater success, I want to draw an important distinction between a mindset and a skillset. In short, a mindset is a set of attitudes you have towards life situations. I have recently written an article about how attitude affects our lives, so make sure to give it a read to understand attitudes more in-depth. You can check it out here. On the contrary, a skillset is more specific to what you do and to how you do it. It essentially gives you the ability to cope with problems. If you took a further look into the difference between these two concepts and the way they can be developed, mindset would be connected to mentorship, while skillset to coaching.

Winner Mindset

In the next part of this article, I will talk about some of the winner qualities I have personally learned about and then experienced first-hand. These are also some of the qualities I am focusing on personally, as I believe they can take you very far.

#1 The winner can see what others can’t before others can

This is a very fundamental quality of every winner and more specifically of every leader out there. The unique ability to cast a strong vision and then stick to it in the long-term. Whenever I talk about success and success principles, I always begin with the why, with the long-term direction, with the purpose that leads your decisions and ultimately directs your action on every step of the way. This is also the major difference between a winner and an average guy. The winner has a purpose that allows him to persist and consistently push for his goals, while the average person bases his or her decisions on the momentary satisfaction. Here, the next quality comes into the game.

#2 The winner understands and pursues the concept of delayed gratification

Every winner out there consciously or subconsciously pursues the concept of delayed gratification. The winner understands that he is in for the long game. Everything the winner does now is for the sake of the long term. The winner fights the battle now in order to live the life he wants to live later. In life, we all have a battle to fight. It is up to each and every one of us whether we take on the challenge now, or whether we keep postponing it until we are not able to win it. The winner understands this and fights now.

#3 The winner understands that he does not know everything and thus aims to grow through every experience

Every winner has this quality people usually refer to as the growth mindset. I have written an article on this topic quite a while ago. You can check it out here.

#4 The winner refuses to equate self-worth with rejection

This is a major problem with many people in our society. When they get rejected, they start questioning their ability and themselves in general. Am I good enough? Am I the problem? The winner understands that rejection is a part of the journey. The winner understands that he needs to fail his or her way to success. In the winner’s mind, rejection is not connected to his ability or his value, it is an opportunity to grow.

#5 The winner keeps his integrity no matter what

Methods change and develop, but values and principles always stay consistent. This rule is the core quality of every winner. Every person who reaches any greater level of success understands that integrity is who he or she is and that integrity can take the person a long way. This is also one of the greatest reasons why most winners obtain a huge following along the way. They have values and principles that they promote through everything they do and people love that.

These are only a few of the qualities every winner has. There is so much more to talk about, but these few concepts are a good starting point. Incorporate and customize these qualities in your life and observe the change.

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Your Greatest Friend & Your Greatest Enemy

In the last couple of months, as I have been growing my business team, I have been speaking to a large number of people, my potential business partners. Whenever I speak to people, there is one specific area I want to tap into, in order to see whether they are someone I would like to spend more time with or whether they are someone who I should keep my distance from. That specific characteristic is the way they approach issues and more generally their life. In other words, their attitude. In my eyes, attitude is something that affects pretty much anything in our lives. If your attitude is rotten, it will be reflected in your life. If your attitude is pure and positive, it will be reflected in your life. Who you are, what you do and how you do it is all a reflection of your attitude, which is also the topic I’ll be looking at in this article.

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It Is Up To You

There is a saying: “God chooses what we go through. We choose how we go through it.” This means that whatever happens to you, your attitude decides whether it breaks you or whether it makes you. You are the only person who decides whether what happens to you turns out to be positive, maybe a lesson, or negative, simply something that gives you nothing and that you only complain about. It is not about what we go through, it is about how we got through it. Your life experiences are about your attitude. Whatever mistake you make can turn out to be a positive lesson. However, this can happen only if you have the right attitude in place. “In every adversity, there is a seed of an equal or a greater opportunity” (Bill Britt). Every hardship you go through is hiding a potential gain. The difference maker is whether you’re able to see it or not, which is directly affected by your attitude. You can’t see something you’re not looking for.

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Your attitude is the difference maker in your life – be it positive or negative. I’ll talk about a few core points that are directly affected by the way you approach your life, your attitude.

#1 Adversity

One of the major areas of your life your attitude affects directly is how you approach adversity. If you employ a positive attitude, your ability to deal with hardships and turn them into growth opportunities significantly increases. If you’re stuck with a negative attitude, you will only make things worse. You will speak negative, you will complain, you will refuse to look for the way out and you will refuse to learn from your mistakes because you will refuse the fact that you are the one who made the mistakes in the first place. Employ positive attitude and control the roadblocks you encounter!

#2 Your Environment & Relationships

I believe that a positive attitude is the basic building block for a healthy relationship. In fact, it is very simple, the people with positive attitudes stick to the people with a positive attitude and the people who are negative stick to the people who are negative. Why? Because both of the groups seek the environment that reflects them, they attract it. If you love to complain, you will most likely seek the company of the people who will complain with you. If you seek to grow through your struggles, the people who always complain will make you feel sick. With a negative attitude, you blame others for your mistakes, you blame everyone except yourself. How can you have a healthy relationship like that?

#3 Success

Your attitude ultimately determines the degree of any kind of success you will achieve in your life. It does not matter what area we talk about. You have already lost the big game if you developed a crappy attitude. Success is about growing through and overcoming problems. Can you do that when you refuse to accept the mistakes you’ve made? Can you do that if you refuse to focus on the positive aspect of your life? (Clue – NO)

Can I Change?

Absolutely. It is a marathon, but attitude can be changed or corrected if you may. I suggest using an old but effective method. You first identify the areas in which you want to improve (complaining, gossip, refusing to accept your mistakes etc.). You carry a notebook with you and whenever you do something you’ve decided to change, you write it down. This way, you’ll systematically annoy the heck out of yourself, which will then lead to a change on behaviour. That is only the first step, the next steps are finding more positive associations and consuming more positivity. This will in return start growing the positive in your mind, which is a crucial part of developing your positive attitude.

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Break Them Bad Habits

Quite a while ago, we have published an article on habits and habit creation called Habits 101. In this article, we talk about how habits work and why they are super beneficial for our lives. What we don’t talk about in depth is how to get rid of the very bad habits that have been ingrained into your mind when you were young and that you’ve carried with you throughout your whole life. This is something that is a huge part of the whole process. You can never instantly forget your bad habits. You can’t simply delete them. What you need to do is to start minimizing the bad stuff and maximize the good stuff. It’s a matter of substitution and correction rather than eradication. In this article, I will talk about how you can begin restructuring your habits by minimizing the bad stuff.

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The 4 Steps

If you’ve read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, you might see that the 4 steps I’ll be talking about are in essence the inversions of the 4 steps you have to take to create a habit. The 4 steps I’ll use are not necessarily interchangeable, but some of them might not occur in your solution. I’ll list them in the usual order below. Do bear in mind that these steps require some sense of creativity from your side. Although I will mention some examples, you will have to take these general steps and apply them on your own case.

Step #1 Make It Invisible

For the sake of explanation, I will use a very common habit of all of us. Our reaction to our phone notification. First, you see/hear it make a sound. This connection focuses your attention on the phone – your attention leaves whatever you were focused on before the phone rang. It logically follows that if you want to get rid of this bad habit (constantly checking your phone when working) you have to somehow make sure that your phone is away from you so that you can’t see it, but you also want to make sure that you can’t hear it ring. This is applicable, like most of the steps, pretty much everywhere. You need to somehow make that trigger disappear.

Step #2 Make It Unattractive

The second step in our phone notification scenario is making it unattractive to check the phone. This could mean placing it somewhere high or far from you so getting up and reaching for the phone would be almost annoying. In more general terms, you need to make the bad habit you’re breaking super unattractive. Another example could be – lots of people have bad eating habits. Stick that fat person picture on your fridge. Stick that picture of a fat extraction operation on your fridge. It will make you feel at least a bit disgusted.

Step #3 Make It Difficult

In our phone notification scenario, you could lock the phone somewhere so that you’d have to first look for the key and then unlock the case with the phone. It is a bit extreme (you could figure out some super annoyingly hard method of unlocking your phone), but it makes it difficult to reach for the phone – it also makes it unattractive. In more broader terms, you simply have to make it super hard for you to take the action (in terms of the bad habit). Put that candy high up and lock it down. Put a really long password on your computer so it is difficult to go through every single time.

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Step #4 Make It Unsatisfying

The reason we take action on bad habits is the feeling of satisfaction. This is the final battle. If you successfully apply the 3 previous steps, you will most likely not have to do this. But if you fail to take action on the first 3 steps, you need to figure out how to make the habit unsatisfying. The best example I can come up with at the moment is putting pepper on the sweets you really want to eat before you start craving them. Get rid of that satisfaction in advance so that when you encounter the problem, you will have put a solution on the table.

These steps, if applied properly (which means no cheating) will help you break your bad habit. Please do bear in mind that habits take around 30 days to form, thus breaking them might take even longer. It is a long term pull, not a one day push. If you mess up once, you start all over again.

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The #1 Most Valuable Commodity in The History of The World

I have wanted to write an article on this topic for quite a long time. This is because of the enormous number of conversations I’ve had with many many students here at university where I am now. I always enjoy talking to people about their dreams, their ambitions and how they plan to get there. After all, that is also one of the major reasons I am building this brand together with one of my close friends. I know that I have the power to positively affect millions of lives and I am not giving up on that, ever. However, that is not what I want to talk about in this article. In this text, I want to talk about the major mistake both young and old people in our society make. They think that money is central to our lives. Or it seems to me as if they did. More precisely, they spend most of their lives working for it, so it makes complete sense to assume that they do. Otherwise, they would not spend so much time doing that, that is if they could use common sense. Through these 1000ish words, I want to present you with the reality. Is money the most valuable commodity we have? Absolutely not. What is it then? And why do people spend most of their lives working for money with no aim of getting more of the most valuable commodity that we can have?

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Money Is Not Even Close

Many people think that money can solve all the problems of the modern world. That is true, to an extent… My mentor once told me – “money can solve 95% of all our issues. The rest depends on how much time you’ve got”. If that is so, how come money is not the most valuable commodity? That is because of the 5% of the problems it can’t solve. These problems are the most important ones. You can have all the money in the world, but if you lack in the most valuable commodity there is, which is also the commodity that can solve the remaining 5% of the problems, you can never really be free. Money can get you your dream house, but is it really worth it if you only use it to sleep over, because you need to work from AM to PM in order to have the money you want? You can have all the money in the world, but if you can’t enjoy it with the ones you love, is it really worth it? I want to spend most of my day with the people I love, not just a tiny part after I come home grumpy and tired after work. You can always make more money, you can always save it and you can always get it back. These are the reasons why it isn’t #1.

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And The Winner Is…

Time, time, time. Time is the number one most valuable commodity me and you can have. There is nothing more valuable in this world more time. How come? Time can never be saved, it can never be stopped, it can never be returned and it can never be gained. You only have 24 hours every day and some 100 years. That’s it. By the time you turn 60, you won’t be able to do most of the things you want to do now. Why? Time. Most people complain about their lives, their jobs and basically about whatever they can think of. Why? Time. If you had the time to do whatever you want to do, what would it be? Would it be the same stuff you do now? Or would you change something? Would you spend more time with the people you love? Would you spend more time doing the things you love to do? There are thousands of millionaires around the world who are terribly depressed. Why? Time. They work from the moment they get up until the moment they fall asleep. They have all the money, but they have no time to enjoy it. Is that what you call life?

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The Winners

The winners in life, the truly successful people aren’t the richest out there. They are the people who have the money that allows them to do what they want and the time that allows them to do what they want. The second best are the ones who have the time because they have still not fallen for the money-making trap. They still have the hope to not enter the rat race. Don’t make that mistake if you haven’t made it yet. If you have, learn and get the heck out!

Want to learn how to properly invest your time? Check out our free ebook HERE!

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