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How To Find Your Passion and Land Your Dream Job

How To Find Your Passion and Land Your Dream Job: The Ultimate Guide

How do you find a job or start a business and make a lot of money doing it without making the wrong choice? I spent years trying to find my passion and make it a career. I consumed every video, interview, podcast, and book out there on the topic.

Even now, there isn’t as much good, thorough advice as I want. But there is great advice out there that is just scattered among hundreds of interviews and speeches from successful people. I’ve compiled the best of what I’ve learned, what makes the most sense, and what actually has worked in the real world — not theory. Here’s the guide I wish I had for myself years ago:

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What is Straight Edge lifestyle? Benefits

What is the Straight Edge Lifestyle? An Idiot’s Guide

So there are all sorts of crazy niche men’s lifestyles out there. I recently found new one called the Straight Edge lifestyle.

It’s not crazy. It’s not extreme. It’s simple.

And I recommend it. First off, here’s what it is…

What is a Straight Edge Lifestyle?

It’s simple. It means you have committed to the following rules of avoiding:

  • drugs
  • alcohol
  • smoking
  • anything to harm your body

You can take it even farther and refrain from cursing or partying.

Honestly, I like the general concept (without going to extreme with the rules), but I’m also confused that they had to create a whole name for just living a healthy life.

I didn’t know about this until now but I realized I already do this. It’s a natural set of standards that Asian immigrant parents usually teach their children.

I want to be the optimal version of myself I can. To perform at peak levels, I cannot be doing things that affect my body or mind negatively and all those things have been consistently proven to do so.

I think the Straight Edge life is a good representation of how I try to do things. I try to do things the most efficiently and ethically as possible because there’s very little downside to it. The only real downside is to be made fun of by people who will call you uncool for not partaking in these things. And that’s not the type of person I want to hang out with anyways.

I get it. There is a bit of social pressure. And there are times when you are young or trapped where there’s really no cool people who don’t do drugs or drink or smoke. But it’s a big world and eventually you will grow old enough to find awesome, successful people like that if you actively look.There’s a difference between my idea of efficiency versus “cutting corners.”

There’s a difference between my idea of efficiency versus “cutting corners.” This isn’t about taking shortcuts or magic pills.

Unsuccessful people look for a shortcut, hack, cheat code, or magic pill to get ahead in making money, getting fit, and everything else in life. Ultimately, they always fail because they are too lazy to put in the hard work to get there. They keep looking for a Get Rich Quick strategy that doesn’t exist and isn’t sustainable.

Instead, when I think of efficiency, this is my mindset:

“I am willing to work as hard as necessary. I am willing to do the grunt work. I am willing to do the things unsuccessful people are too lazy to be bothered with. However, I will look to mentors and successful people who have gotten to where I have gotten to speed up the process by guiding me past the mistakes they have made ahead of time so I don’t have to.”

In this way, I get ahead.

I’m not doing this by cheating people or lying or looking for some secret Get Rich Quick scam tactic. Instead, I use books, history, videos, interviews, real people, and a strict selection process to find the best in the world (dead or alive) to help guide me along my journey. The lessons they have learned from wasting years of time and hundreds of thousands of dollars will be used to get me there faster.

The lessons they have learned from wasting years of time and hundreds of thousands of dollars will be used to get me there faster. Rather than cheating the system, I am building off the history and mistakes of previous generations. I am standing on the shoulders of giants.

Surprisingly enough, most people don’t do this. They are too arrogant or ignorant to recognize the importance of books, mentors, resources, or anything of the sort. Or they are too whimsical with who they choose to listen to.

Charlie Munger said that the best way of being the best is to deserve to be the best.

It’s an incredibly deep and amazing piece of advice. What he means is that you can cheat the system, lie, cook the books, and get away with it for a while. But eventually, you’ll be found out and screwed over.

The best example is the company Enron. For many years, they got away with making it seem like they were making billions of dollars on a global level through bribery, manipulation, corruption, cheating the system, making things overly complicated, cooking the books, and lying. They had the world fooled. Stock analysts applauded their company.

Stock analysts applauded their company. But in reality, almost all of them were being bribed by Enron. The ones who wouldn’t take the bribe were forcibly removed as analysts.

In reality, they were losing a ton of money. The executives at the top were siphoning off millions to pay for fancy dinners and vacations. They were secretly cheating consumers by illegally turning off generators to save money. There’s a great documentary about this I suggest you watch.

Eventually, things caught up to them. They got found out. Like most pyramid schemes, eventually you get so big that you run out of people to scam. You may get away with this for even years, but it will eventually catch up to you. What a horrible way to live.

What a horrible way to live. You’re always looking over your shoulder. The craziest part was that the top executives of Enron suffered from commitment and consistency bias. Everyday, they had to pretend to be honorable people who believed they were doing the right thing. Over the years, they eventually convinced themselves it was true.

Everyday, they had to pretend to be honorable people who believed they were doing the right thing. Over the years, they eventually convinced themselves it was true. Some of these people were sent to life in jail and they still believe that they were doing the right thing after robbing millions of dollars from people. Make sure this bias doesn’t occur to you.

Make sure this bias doesn’t occur to you. Is there anything in your life that you’re doing wrong that is slowly creeping into your belief patterns to affect you?

A similar story of such a scandal was Lance Armstrong, a top cyclist.

Now, here’s an example of an athlete who was the best because he deserved to be the best. He clearly didn’t cut any corners. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan.

Michael is still considered one of the best basketball players of all time.

Some of the things he did were so good that it was clear that he put hard work and practice into it. There was no cutting corners. There was no cheating the system. He could go to sleep at night in peace because he didn’t lie or cheat to get there.

His performance made it clear that he got there by deserving to be there.

Benefits of a Straight Edge Lifestyle

The obvious benefits of a Straight Edge lifestyle come are the catastrophes that you avoid by not indulging in excessive drinking, partying, tattoos, or drugs.

History is filled with stories of wealthy and poor people who have ruined their future by putting themselves in states where they are not in control and they behave in ways they regret.

There are a ton of results that aren’t ideal. You can end up:

  • making poor life decisions
  • as a horrible parent
  • impregnating a woman with a child you can’t financially or emotionally supprot
  • show up late to important meetings with family or your career because you overslept
  • wasting money you could have invested better
  • destroyed your performance in school

Growing up, I felt like these rules imposed on me by my parents were too strict. Maybe alcohol wasn’t as bad as it seems. Maybe successful people do fine partying, doing drugs, and drinking all the time. Maybe I was wrong in my beliefs.

But as I read more and more stories of successful people, I discovered plenty who learned the hard way and decided to give it up. This includes Russsell Simmons in his book Super Rich, Steve Aoki in the book Tribe of Mentors, and James Swanwick, who has a whole program on getting people to quit.

The Struggles of Living a Straight Edge Lifestyle

Environment can make or break how hard it is to lie this lifestyle.

I’ve found that living and working with people who align with your goals makes it super easy. There is little resistance.

But if you’re living in the party or drug capital of the world, that’s another story.

Growing up, I was bullied a lot in middle school for being the only kid who didn’t curse. Kids would follow after me and harass me to get me to curse. To them, it wasn’t anything serious, but for me, it built up like a bottle because it was so hard to resist and it placed so much more power on that word.

Later on, I realized that a word is just a word. I am freely able and willing to curse to demonstrate I have the ability. And sometimes, I’ll even let it slip out while talking.

It’s really the malice and meaning behind the word that matter.

A Warning: Don’t Be An Extremist

The danger of Straight Edge (or any lifestyle) is extremism.

You can end up optimizing for following the rules rather than life results. For example, according to the book 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People, long living people drink a cup or two of red wine every night.

But if you’re a Straight Edge extremist, you’re not allowed to drink a drop of alcohol. This is failing the main motive of Straight Edge, which is to avoid the dangers of excess alcohol, while preventing yourself from the benefits of living longer.

Therefore, don’t be an extremist for max life optimization.

Similarly, there are other ways this can apply. For example, it may be socially intelligent to at least drink one cup of alcohol in some social gatherings and networking events since most cultures love alcohol. You don’t have to get drunk but you don’t want to be the stingy odd one out.

I tend to get away with not drinking at all when no one else cares but I definitely will in events where it’s obvious that it would be weird or impolite if I didn’t (this is rare but it happens).

One thing I don’t like about the Straight Edge movement is that you can get the false idea that “all tattoos are evil”, which isn’t the case.

I’ll probably never get a tattoo because they hurt a lot to get, if you choose the wrong one you’ll regret it, and it doesn’t always look attractive. But you can always get it laser removed and some people definitely look more attractive with a tattoo by falling into a certain category of bad boy that girls like.

It’s fine to get one or two tattoos and still be Straight Edge. When it’s dozens, that’s a different story.

In fact, I some people actually do look more attractive with a tattoo and it can be something admirable if the tattoo has a strong message or meaning behind it because of the commitment they made to put it permanently on their bodies.

Conclusion

Overall, the Straight Edge lifestyle is an incredible, healthy lifestyle to live that will optimize your health, longevity, and happiness by reducing activities that can lead to major suffering.

I realized I was Straight Edge without even realizing it. It’s a common thing that 1st generation Asian parents push.

However, you should be cautious of extremism for this lifestyle or anything else.

What can you do right NOW to change your life for the better?

Views – 87

daily journal secrets tips and truth

An Honest 5 Minute Journal Review: The Truth About Journaling & Morning Routines

A new fad has been sweeping through the personal development movement.

Journaling. But is it just a useless fad seen as the next “magic pill” to success or is it legit?

There are even popular journals you can buy include the Five-Minute Journal, Mastery Journal, Freedom Journal, Morning Pages, and Miracle Morning (though this is more of a routine) as made famous by Alex and Mimi Ikonn, John Lee Dumas, Tim Ferriss, and Hal Elrod.

But there’s a huge problem with the current state of daily journals out in the market.

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Views – 145

How To Make Friends Without Having To Influence Them

How To Make Friends Without Having To Influence Them

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one of the only books that exist on how to make friends. And it’s wildly successful, selling millions of copies.

But after reading the book and the reviews, I realized there were critical components on how to make friends that were missing. People complained about the following in the book:

  • Short-term manipulative tactics are used that can destroy your long term success with making friends.
  • Some of the tips are focused on ways of getting people to like you for business and networking, which is different from making friends because you’re encouraged to be someone other than your true self.
  • The tips to smile more, be nice, and be interested fail to account for the female gender. When women do this, it can be misinterpreted as a sexual advance and encourage harassment.
  • Pretending to be interested in something you’re not and being too agreeable can cause you to end up with friends you don’t really want and you don’t actually connect with because you’re lying about your interests, overlooking their glaring faults, or befriending selfish people who drain your energy.
  • A lot of the advice is generic or repetitive and focused on common sense tactics to be a decent, average person.

I want to address these issues and give some advice on how to actually make friends without having to put on a fake persona or manipulate. My advice is based on what I have learned from my own experiments and/or asking people who seem to naturally good at making a lot of high quality friends.

I think most people are unaware of all the great benefits of creating an established network of healthy, supporting friends. Many are also unaware that social skills are an acquired skill that almost everyone can develop with practice.

This topic means a lot for me because I struggled immensely to make friends growing up. I even sat alone at the cafeteria often in school.

I believe you can make quality friends that have similar values and hobbies — who will support you — who you will be a lot of fun to hang around even if you’re starting from scratch. It won’t be easy but you can do it. And I’m going to teach you how to do it without having to manipulate, lie, or influence others.

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Views – 244

what is personal development?

Personal Development Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide

Do you know who Tony Robbins is?

He went from working as a janitor to the world’s most well known personal development speaker with a net worth of $480 million

Similarly, Brian Tracy went from working dead-end jobs (like dishwasher) as a high school dropout to a multi-millionaire salesman.

Here’s one more: W. Clement Stone took the book Think and Grow Rich and followed it to a tee. He turned $100 into millions in the insurance business. 

This was all thanks to personal development.

Now, there is a lot of fluff and bad advice out there on personal development and I want to set things straight. You may be (rightfully) skeptical of personal development. But real personal development, at its core, can help you. And I will prove it.

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Views – 574

always stay positive no matter what

10 Ways To Stay Positive No Matter What Negative Bullshit Comes Your Way

We aren’t perfect. We want to stay upbeat and positive all the time because it feels better, we feel better, and it helps us get more done and attract awesome people into our lives. But it’s hard. Life rocks us with tough times and negative people.

So how do you stay positive when your life isn’t going well or life events bring you down?

This has been a problem I have experimented with for years. I poured over the scientific literature, studied interviews and books of celebrities that always seemed upbeat (like Will Smith, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael Strahan) and asked every person who was always beaming with positivity for advice.

I hold this problem deep in my heart because I was unhappy for a long stretch of time and naturally someone who dwells on negative events.

Why Does Positivity Matter?

Don’t take it from me; listen to one of the most famous, successful billionaires out there, Richard Branson. He wrote a blog post on why positivity is so important. Long story short, positivity can spread to others. It can make you and your team more productive and happy while making work more enjoyable.

Moreover, consider the downsides of negativity. I used to be a naturally negative person before I got into self help and I didn’t even realize it. Negative thinking can spiral downwards into depression, anxiety, lack of will to do anything, lack of energy, frustration, anger, resentment, frustration, jealousy, and/or a greater willingness to give up.

Here is what I found works:

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Views – 322

Depressed, Disabled, Lonely, Abused, and No Friends. What Do I Do? (Updated)

I got a question from a mother who is going through tough times on multiple fronts. If you join my email newsletter (there’s plenty of places to sign up, such as at the bottom of this article), you can reply to an email with your question, and I will try to help you.

As the title of this article hints, she’s failing at most areas of life. Let’s call her Dana (not her real name)

I don’t tend to address issues like this because it attracts people I can’t help (even if I want to). My content is focused more on high achievers who can execute. But this time, I was compelled to answer (and post this with her permission) because it was so emotional, genuine, and almost everything I’ve released online started because I was like this women and wanted to learn how to get better. I want to add some value here, even if my tips won’t solve everything.

I’ve posted a shortened version of Dana’s question and my answer to help anyone going through something similar:

Hi Will,
I’m 55 years old and a single mom of 3.

I have been divorced for just over 11 years. My oldest son has Aspergers. So this had kept me home for a good portion of his upbringing. He is now 21.

When I was younger.. and I mean in my 20’s, I was confident, assertive. Happy go lucky. I was a pursuer (head flight attendant on international flights for a prominent airline), I could make decisions quickly, without a second thought, no second guessing. And I never doubted myself. I always knew what I needed to do or wanted to do. No matter what it was in regards to. My life, health wise, relationship wise, financial, family, ect.

I grew up pretty much alone. Living on my own since I was 16. I married at 28. My ex-husband was an alcoholic and emotionally abusive. This was the initial decent into depression for me.

I lost all my friends because I was not allowed to see anyone, in a round about way. We only hung out with his friends, or family.

So after a time, my friends stopped coming around.

Anyways, after years of emotional abuse, and becoming permanently disabled myself at 40, I divorced him.

I was so happy to be away from him. Having taken my kids away, to a happier place. It was a fresh start.
But I started to realize I had no friends, most my family was in other areas of the country. And since I was disabled and with no money, well.. it started to take its toll.

I am unable to work outside the home, so I didn’t have as much opportunity to meet people for friends or romantic relationships.

After one severely failed relationship, my depression started to spiral even more so. It’s hard to always be alone. And no matter how positive you try to be, when no one wants to be in a relationship with you because they are older and do not want younger children, especially someone else’s or they want a newer model (what I call younger women) and most women my age (for friendship) are too busy with their own crap.

So not only am I depressed, I have no one to talk to, I have lost all my friends, and I have no one in my life relationship wise, and the way I see myself and life has changed dramatically.

I am no longer the positive, quick thinking, know what I need to do person that I use to be.
Half the time, I cant figure out what to wear every day. Or what to make for dinner.

My kids don’t talk to me, and have little or no respect for me.

So Will, if you can write an article about taking a person from the dumps and building them up to at least feeling some semblance of happiness and confidence again, I would very much appreciate it because I honestly don’t know where to start.

My Response and Advice:

Thanks for the heartfelt message.

Wow. I’m no miracle worker and this seems to be a really tough situation.But I can try my best to help guide you towards the right path.
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Views – 515

top 5 masculinity manly books for men

5 Essential Books You Must Read on Masculinity and Becoming a Man

When it comes to self help books for men, the books I recommend may not be what you expect. They’re not tactical books on improving your habits or focus. They’re books that dive deeper and focus on the inner psychology that are preventing you from taking action on the tactics you read about it. This may includes books on building the fundamental traits of a healthy man.

We currently live in at an era where many men are frustrated and functioning far from their potential.

We’re angry, frustrated, fearful, or anxious with our situation or lack of results and if we will stay in this plateau forever.

It’s not completely your fault. Society and your upbringing may have failed you. Many of the strong fundamentals of becoming an attractive man, like a coming of age rite of passage, male role models, and exposure the benefits of assertiveness and aggression were eliminated in your upbringing thanks to the modern world.

Because of this, many men lack strong friendships with other men, a spine to stand up for themselves or others, or the ability to effectively behave as a man, which can damage their success in their career, dating life, ability to make male friends, or romantic relationship.

A few books have helped me see what has occurred and how to improve it. You see, I’m a stereotypical nice guy. I’m overly passive, I’m scared of conflict, I dwell on anxiety for too long, I please for approval, and I have done kind things expecting something back.

I’ve learned that false belief systems prevent us from getting the results we want but we cling onto them hoping our results will change. I discovered that our beliefs came from a mixture of possible factors including radical feminism views that demonized male traits like assertiveness or dominance, lack of male role models and friends growing up, having few male teachers, past trauma with interactions with other men, and the rise of cities to replace towns.

This modernization of the world has removed vital parts of what we genetically need to become attractive, functional men in society. Our happiness and social skills could be low because of a lack of a tribe to develop strong, recurring relationships. Our extreme views on assertiveness and expressing sexuality could cause so much shame that we never stand up for ourselves or express romantic interest. Our lack of strong friendships could dramatically cripple our dating lives, emotional intelligence, and mental health.

Watch the video below for the five books that will help change your life as a man:

 

Once again, the books mentioned are:

  1. Way of Men by Jack Donovan
  2. The Way of Superior Men by David Deida
  3. No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover
  4. What Women Want by Dr. Geoffrey Miller and Tucker Max
  5. Single, Shy, and Looking for Love: A Dating guide for the Shy & Socially Anxious by Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD

Disclaimer: If you go through my links and buy a book on Amazon, I will get a commission at no extra cost to you.

Note: I am not blaming women for all my problems. I am simply trying to have higher quality relationships with men as friends and women romantically in my life. I want to do that by working on my emotional behaviors (or Nice Guy qualities) that are holding me back from an evolutionary biology perspective. 

I added this note as an update because one of my readers asked if knew about the MGTOW, Red Pill, and the Pick Up Artist communities. I’m aware of their existence but that’s about it right now. In his email, I could see a lot of hatred towards women and other men. That’s the exact reason I don’t follow their teachings. Recently, they have all developed extremist and toxic views on the world filled with hatred and deep psychological issues focused on manipulation or blaming others.

Now, I’d like to hear from you. Is there a book I missed that really helped you? Has any piece of advice, influencer, or book impacted your life positively in your journey to become a better man? Let me know in the comments below.

Views – 296

Brian Tracy Time Management Productivity

Brian Tracy’s Top 17 Time Management and Productivity Principles

“If you have two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.” -a Brian Tracy quote on time management (He’s telling you to do the hardest task first always).

How come some people seem to get three times as much done as us even though they don’t appear that much smarter or harder working?

I’ll tell you it has nothing to do with luck versus hard work. They are smarter with their time and get more done in a day than we do in a week by doing what’s most impactful first.

I wanted to share with you some of the top insights I have learned from studying time management masters. The advice here comes from extensive studying of Brian Tracy’s personal time management videos, articles, programs, and books. If you do not know who he is, he is a highly successful salesman, speaker, and personal development thought leader who started out as a broke high school drop out.

Enjoy:

1. Make A Mindset Shift

The first thing you have to do to be great at time management and productivity is a mindset shift.

Brian Tracy argues that all the techniques on time management in the world won’t help you if you still hold the belief that you are bad at time management.

He recommends you program into your subconscious that you are great at time management and organization even if you aren’t. When people ask you, tell them you are. You have to start believing it so that you don’t hold yourself back and so that your subconscious can move you towards new results.

Being better at productivity is a long-term habit-forming process. It takes determination, perseverance, and decisiveness to commit to the process.

You must be determined and keep working on it for an extended period of time. You really have to want to change and stick to it.

2. Understand Your Values

Now that this is covered, you need to understand what you value most. If you don’t set your priorities straight, how can you prioritize?

To properly prioritize, you must have values beyond just your career and business objectives. What are your values and goals for your life?

You could end up pursuing a goal that you don’t have any interest or in. This ends up being unproductive in the long run even if you’re efficient in completing the task. It’s unproductive because even if you can’t achieve that goal in half the time, it doesn’t matter because you don’t care about the goal.

To avoid burnout and exhaustion at work, you must combine a deep passion and interest with what you do at work. People who don’t enjoy what they work get burned out eventually from overwork.

However, others never burn out because work and play become synonymous. I’ve heard a lot successful people say this including Brian Tracy, Richard Branson, Will Smith, and Warren Buffett.

3. Use The Pareto Principle: What Is The Highest Impact Activity You Can Do? Do It.

The Pareto Principle is basically a concept that applies universally to many things in life: 80% of the results come from 20% of the work. An example of this playing through is wealth: 80% of the world’s wealth comes from less than 20% of the people in it.

You will find that this principle is more pronounced in certain areas. Use this in your prioritization.

Ask yourself: What is the #1 thing you can do this week that will bring you the highest impact?

What is the #2 thing?

Usually, it’s very obvious. Do that first. Begin the day with that.

Brian is well known for his catchphrase, “Eat the Frog!” It comes from the book with the same name. It describes street performers who will eat the ugliest frog first as part of an act to get it over with. In the same way, you must start with your ugliest, toughest task first. By doing so, you make the most progress.

By simply “eating your ugliest frog first”, time management becomes simple.

Another related principle that will help is the four quadrants principle called the Eisenhower Matrix.

4. Do This To Defeat Procrastination

Having trouble beginning? The best way to be productive is to begin immediately. Start your day with your most important task. To motivate yourself, say to yourself “Do it now! Do it right this instant!” 10 to 30 times with emotion and enthusiasm. It will help move you to begin.

Note: this doesn’t always work because you don’t enjoy what you do.

For example, you could be in law school or medical school only because your parents want you there. All the motivation in the world can’t push you to continue.

Push through short-term procrastination to move to a long-term goal you do like. For instance, do a job you don’t enjoy to work towards a long-term goal you will enjoy.

5. Avoid Distractions and Multitasking

Stopping and restarting an activity constantly can require 5 times the amount of energy. You get disoriented because you were interrupted, you have to readjust, you have to re-orient, and you have to prepare to begin again.

If you can, avoid any distractions that results in this kind of start-stop behavior. Stay focused.

Studies have shown multitasking to be unproductive, even for the most adept tech-savvy teen. You can accomplish more by avoiding multitasking and focusing.

6. Avoid Semi-Productive Activities. They’re the Worst Distractions.

Your worst distractions and evils to your time management are not the things that are clearly unproductive. Those definitely play a part. But the biggest evil is usually the things that are somewhat productive.

These are usually things that are not important but made to look urgent. Examples include answering emails, people asking you for help in person, or listening to self-help when you should be working.

As you can see, the last one is an example of the most dangerous. It’s things that you can rationalize away as “productive enough” to avoid your most important task.

7. Delegate

Outsources tasks to people who can do it better than you so you can focus on what you do best. It’s one of the best ways to leverage your time and energy.

If you run a business, this is essential to succeeding and scaling.

According to the book Code of the Extraordinary Mind, Richard Branson said that the key to moving from 7 figures to a billion dollar business was hiring the best people to do things better than you can and trusting them with it.

Brian Tracy recommends the rule of 70%: if they can do the job at least 70% as good as you, give them the responsibility.

I recommend finding someone who can do the job even better than you if possible.

8. Use The ABC Method

This is a time management method coined by Brian Tracy. It’s really simple. It’s very similar to the Eisenhower Matrix:

Group your tasks into A, B, and C buckets.

A tasks are the ones with serious consequences if you don’t do it. These are things like a big project or meeting.

B tasks are ones with mild consequences. This is like a mildly important email you need to respond to. Never do these until the A tasks are complete.

C tasks are things that have no consequence but would be nice. This is like having lunch with a friend or personal activities. Don’t do these until A and B are done.

Now, organize everything in your A group into a numbered priority list and start with #1.

If you want to go even further, you can add D and E buckets. D are things that can be delegated to other people. E are things that should not be done at all and eliminated: maybe it’s smoking or a pointless, unproductive activity someone planned for you.

9. Remember The Most Important Part of Prioritization: Higher-Level Understanding

The ABC Method or any other techniques fail if you don’t understand what truly matters to you.

You can get really, really, REALLY productive at business. But you can fail to prioritize family time with your child and regret it because you forgot to value it.

20 years later, your child is off to college and things can’t be changed.

Don’t fail at bigger picture productivity.

Ask yourself what matters most to you. Prioritize these things.

Here are some of the most common values to consider:

  • dating life
  • things you wanted to do before you get old
  • business and wealth
  • career development
  • acquiring necessary skills
  • meeting people or life goals
  • family time
  • having the people who love you love you
  • big accomplishments before you die
  • what you would regret most at your death bed.
  • new adventures
  • new experiences
  • travel

10. Be Willing and Able To Say No

When you’re just starting out in life, you have plenty of time but not many credentials, skills, or opportunities. It pays to say Yes to everything you’re offered to get your foot in the door.

But what gets you in the game won’t take you to the next level. Once you reach a certain level of success, you’re overwhelmed by too many opportunities. Saying Yes too often will exhaust you to death.

But many people don’t make the switch to saying no because they were not given many opportunities starting out and maintain a scarcity mindset.

Musicians like Lady Gaga and supermodels like Cara DeLevigne have done speeches about this. Businesswomen and actress Jessica Alba has talked about this. Ariana Huffington wrote a whole book inspired by this thought, called The Sleep Revolution, after she collapsed from exhaustion from saying Yes to too many things. Oprah Winfrey has mentioned it too in her book, What I Know For Sure.

Learn this lesson ahead of time. Sometimes, it’s ok to say No. No is enough of an answer. It is one of the most powerful productivity tools out there.

Note: This rule may not apply if you’re young. If you’re young and starting out, you may want Yes more often to get more opportunities.

11. Learn To Read Faster

In one of the few appearances Warren Buffett and Bill Gates did together in front of business school students, they were asked what the most superpower they wanted.

Both responded that being able to read faster would have been huge for them. Both of them credit the power of reading the right books and applying the knowledge as massive contributors to their massive wealth. In fact, Warren said that he would have saved ten years of his life if he read faster — that’s how much he reads!

Are you exercising your mind? The last book in this pile I recommend

A photo posted by Motivation Success Quotes (@willyoulaugh_) on


Readers are leaders. Constantly feed your mind with information from the smartest people ever and keep up to date with trends in your industry.

Even if you don’t think you read a lot, most people do: they have to check email, respond, or write things. By learning how to do something faster that you already do naturally, you are saving a lot of time over your life time.

There are plenty of free Speed Reading courses and videos online as well as paid courses. My lessons on speed reading can drastically help you increase your speed while maintaining retention of information by 250%. They are worth the price of a premium paid course.

Warren Buffett mentioned in a speech he did with Bill Gates that he probably wasted years of his life reading slow.

12. Avoid Useless Meetings

If you’re paying each employee $50 an hour for example and you have 10 people at a meeting that lasts an hour, that meeting just cost $500. Is the time spent at the meeting worth the investment?

Eliminate unnecessary meetings, only invite the people necessary, and make the purpose of the meeting clear from the start.

Meetings generally are a great way for employees to goof off or waste time. They often go longer than they should. Be aware of this. Always start on time even if people haven’t shown up.

You don’t want to build a culture of holding up everyone who showed up on time for the one person who’s late. That will just encourage more people to show up later and later.

I wrote an article with plenty of examples of billionaire productivity secrets as further proof.

13. Achieve Email Time Management Mastery. How To Get To Inbox Zero

Emails take up the bulk of most people’s day and are a major time waster. They’re usually unimportant requests that take up your time and energy. Here are the main things you can do to master email:

Never check email in the mornings or the first thing you do when you wake up.

Email productivity

Many successful people don’t do this. And then they learn the hard way.

It’s a huge mistake because you are failing to start your day with the most important task to you. Instead, you are giving yourself to the mystery of whatever requests come in by email, even if they are distracting or unimportant. You are letting other people’s requests and objectives control your life.

Rather than being a controller of your life, you are playing the reactive victim. That’s not what winners do.

Commit To Checking Your Email Only 2 Times or Less A Day

Emails can function as a huge bottleneck and time suck. What this means is that it’s one of those activities that isn’t scalable if not done right. It requires one person’s concentration and effort, which can only be sped up so much.

Check your email in bulk once or twice a day max to avoid distraction. Email can function like social media or other distracting entertainment where one thing leads you down a rabbit hole of wasted time. You can end up spending a lot longer than expected.

Rather than letting email control you by checking it frequently multiple times a day, limit yourself. Checking it more frequently can act as a start-stop distraction as well.

Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, started at multiples times a day, went to 2 times a day, and finally went down to 1 time a week.

Email Anxiety: Thousands of Unread Emails – Understand It’s OK

I heard a story from a friend of Brian Tracy’s. He had thousands of unread emails and took a deep breath…

and deleted them all.

He reasoned that if they were truly important, these people would email again to get in touch. A lot of the busiest CEO’s of the top companies in the world are very hard to reach via email. They are bombarded and can’t answer them all.

Most of the requests are unimportant anyways.

Sure enough, the people who really wanted to get in touch sent another email. The other 90% never emailed again and weren’t important to begin with.

It’s to be expected that this person is busy and may have missed the email. People will understand that you may be a busy person.

I have suffered from similar anxiety from all those unread emails. It came from this perception that most of these emails were critical or important and I had to answer them all. That was often not the case. Most of the emails weren’t that important.

Limit Or Do Not Use Email

John Paul DeJoria, a billionaire, has chosen to not use email because he would be bombarded by emails if he did. It would control his day. Instead, he relies on in-person meetings, snail mail, and telephone. It helps him firmly establish and do what’s most important.

Filter Your Emails with a Gatekeeper

Many successful people set up a system so that only the most important and urgent emails end up in their email inbox. Although they get thousands of emails, only a couple end up in the primary inbox. Usually, a secretary or assistant can really help with this if you explain to them what you want.

The filter strategy

Ask your gatekeeper to use Gmail. Tell him or her to tag emails into only 2 categories while deleting or archiving the rest. These tags are: Important and Urgent! and Important and Not Urgent.

If you can’t afford a gatekeeper right now, you can manually limit emails.

Here are a few tasks you can do:

  • unsubscribe from useless newsletters
  • block spam emails
  • start with a fresh email and only give this address to the most important people.
  • Have a second email inbox for the moderately important.

14. When In Doubt, Throw It Out

Brian Tracy has employed a simple method for organizing and dealing with overwhelm of requests. This method has helped many people stay organized and efficient, even when they doubted it.

“When in doubt, throw it out.”

This applies to everything from emails to phone calls to papers on your desk.

Most people fall deeper and deeper into overwhelm and anxiety because they let the emails and papers pile up. Eventually, they are so overwhelmed or disorganized from all the requests.

Brian reasons that if they really want to reach you, they will send another message. Delete everything and the people that really matter will contact you again with the same message. This turns out to be true.

Note: for emails, this can be a short-term fix because you will continue to get bombarded with spam or unimportant emails. I suggest starting a new email address and only giving away that email to the most essential, important, and useful people and services.

15. Remove Inefficiencies

Find Out and Fix How You Are Wasting Other’s Time

Managing guru Peter Drucker said that we don’t only waste our own time but other people’s time as well. You may have made your own life as efficient as possible but how can you make your interactions with others more efficient? Ask them: how am I wasting your time and how can we be more efficient? Often, they will be happy to tell you and it will be a win-win situation for both of you if you can fix it.

When you meet with someone or ask to meet with someone, be as efficient as you can with what you want to do and get started. A great rule, given to me by Brian Tracy, is this: Say “I have 3 points I have to talk to you about and then I will let you get back to your work.”

Get To The Point

A lot of idle time is wasted because of needless small talk or confusion about the direction. If someone comes to you in your office, for example, you can respond with something like “Thanks for coming by. What can I do for you?” It’s polite and gets straight to the point on what can be done while eliminating room for idle chit chat.

Remove Distractions & Interruptions

Sometimes, you need that zone of focus for an extended period of time with no distractions. Interruptions can cause start-stop behavior, which, as I mentioned earlier, can lead to wasted time.

One great starting point is to set aside 1 hour in the morning and afternoon with a Do Not Disturb sign on your door.

The 3-Point Technique

This 3-point technique is simple but effective: Get to work 1 hour early, work through lunch, and stay 1 hour late. By doing so, you accomplish many things:

  • You start the day and end with very few if any distractions because no one is there
  • You get the most important tasks done
  • You get in the groove and flow of working before and longer than others
  • You get more work done since you’re spending more time
  • Probably the biggest benefit: You avoid the rush hour of traffic and skip out on all the wasted time commuting to work

My Secret Life Hack: Leveraging Fringe Hours

Brian Tracy says an average person can finish a whole college semester’s worth of time by using their drive time to work to learn through audio books. Turn your car into a university on wheels.

I’ve applied this secret to every area of my life where I’m just standing or sitting and waiting. Maximizing these “fringe hours” has helped me get several hours worth of extra reading time in per week, which works especially well since I’m a better listener than reader.

If you’re waiting in line at the store or at a restaurant, shopping for clothes, going for a run, at the gym, or in your car, consider consuming podcasts, audio books, videos, book summaries, and courses that will advance your future. I’ve tested out audio and text book summary apps too. Check out my Blinkist review here.

16. File Away & Organize Useful Information. Consume It When You Can

Brian Tracy is great at this. He files away very useful information in articles, magazines, or web articles. Whenever he has free time (sitting in line, on the bus, waiting, etc.), he consumes this information and gets ahead of his competitors.

17. Reward Yourself

According to numerous studies in the book, The Power of Habit, good and bad habits form through a cycle of triggers and rewards.

Reward yourself each time you do the right thing. Brian Tracy did this with his sales teams. He would place a bowl of jelly beans in front of them and they would be able to eat one each time they made a successful call.

Be creative and see if you can come up with a reward that is healthy as well. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose. Maybe you can buy yourself a self-development book if you spend extra time doing the things you don’t want to.

18. When You’re At Work, Only Do Work

Brian argues that up to 40% of an average person’s 8 hour work day is wasted on unproductive activities, like small talk, bathroom breaks, or going on entertainment sites you shouldn’t be on.

Make sure that when you’re at work, you’re fully engaged as much as you can.

You may need an occasional 5 minute break to rejuvenate, which is fine. Just don’t go overboard with the 17 minutes here and 7 minutes there.

Conclusion

This guide is meant to be a comprehensive how-to. Save this and reference it whenever you need some help.

If it’s too much, I recommend reading a couple sentences every day and using that advice.

If you learn nothing else, remember to do the #1 most important long-term task FIRST.

Now, it’s your turn. Leave a comment with the best tip you learned here and how you are going to implement it. Remember: Action takers get ahead! 

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