Imagine

Imagine

Imagine what would happen if you just didn’t give up, if you promised yourself that you would keep going, regardless of what happened. What would that feel like? You would have a determination that rarely faltered, and if it did, you’d just get it back. Think…how long could people resist you if you simply refused to give up? How long could customers or readers or supporters stay away? It’s your will against theirs; someone will have to give in. Either you’ll give in and fail, or they’ll give in and support you.

Imagine if you just refused to fail, if you swore to yourself that you would “act as though it were impossible to fail.” Imagine that. How would you suddenly be perceived? How confident would you seem, and how would that confidence change the course of your goal? Imagine if you knew in the back of your head, without a doubt, that you would succeed in your endeavor.

Imagine if everything in your life was something that could help you reach your goal, if everything that seemed to plaguing other people was inconsequential or even beneficial to you. Imagine if every negative thing that came your way just turned itself around and became a positive thing to help you keep going.

You don’t have to imagine these things. Resolve yourself to keep pushing, deny the illusion of failure, and learn to benefit from the things that would normally harm you or set you back.

It isn’t easy, but I’m sure you can imagine…it’s worth it.

This post will also be featured on TheBulbCulture.wordpress.com. Be sure to head over there to see more great stuff, and contact Jacob to submit articles! He’s building a community of positive people to motivate each other and others.

Reading For Success

I’ve had a few people ask me for book recommendations, and I have a short list here of books I highly recommend. These are the best of the best in my opinion, and I would say each one of these is a must-read. You should watch this video to hear why I think devoting all this time to reading is worth the time and effort, and why it’s one of the best investments you can make. Reading only one book, as long as it’s the right one for you, can make a drastic change in your life, and the more you read the more likely you are to find an idea that will make that change. So here goes…my top five book recommendations:

5) Civilization and its Discontents – Sigmund Freud

Civilization and its Discontents

If you see Freud’s name and think, “no way, that guy’s crazy,” take a second to reconsider. His theories might be a little against the normative when it comes to psychoanalysis, but this book largely discusses man’s connection to the world and a possible purpose, especially in relation to the way we go about finding happiness. This is philosophy, not psychology, and a lot of the ideas here will be pivotal to your search for happiness and success.

Buy this book on Amazon  (Here is a different copy that is half the price, but independently published)

You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

I’m currently working on notes for this book

4) Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Strategy

This is really a book that is geared more towards the entrepreneur, but I think the ideas in here could be applied to several different areas of life. If you are starting or running your own business, working toward growing a following online, or doing anything that involves competition in business, it is imperative that you read this book. The idea are so simple and will seem obvious to you after reading them, but they’re ideas and practices that most people never put into action. It’s not about eliminating competition, it’s about rendering them unimportant.

Buy this book on Amazon          You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

3) Managing Oneself – Peter Drucker

Managing Oneself

This was actually an article that appeared in Harvard Business Review, so it’s a very quick read…but it’s worth every penny you spend on getting it into your hands. I wish I had been handed this book when I graduated high school, or even undergrad. Drucker talks in depth about learning how you learn as an individual, and applying that to your life. He also discusses how you need to learn how you work most efficiently and happily, and using those methods throughout your life as well.

Buy this book on Amazon          Buy my notes on this book

You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

2) Grinding It Out – Ray Kroc

Grinding It Out

This one is a.game changer. Ray Kroc, the man who built McDonalds into the empire it is today, the man who pioneered the fast-food industry, tells all about how he did it. Aside from being a really interesting narrative, this book is full of a wealth of knowledge and ideas that you can and should apply to your life, success, and happiness. You’ll see that perseverance and determination trump all else…you’ll be inspired, definitely, but more importantly, you’ll have a better idea of how you can get where you want to go.

Buy this book on Amazon          Buy my notes on this book

Hear me talk about one idea in this book          Read a post of mine about another idea in this book

1) The Lessons of History – Will & Ariel Durant

Lessons of History

This is the #1 book I recommend to most people with whom I speak. It’s an incredible look into what it means to be human, into what makes us think and act the way we do, and a commentary on mankind as a whole as opposed to an individualistic approach. The lessons we learn throughout the book are directly applicable to success, happiness, instinct, and, in a lot of ways, learning to connect to who you are as a human being and how you function under that title. This is somewhat similar to “Managing Oneself,” but it offers a more holistic view of human nature, and is deeply philosophical.

Buy this book on Amazon          Buy my notes on this book

You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

I have a few videos on this book. You can find them on my YouTube channel.

So that’s it, my top five book recommendations. I really would suggest these to everyone, because they all make you think about life, success, happiness, and human nature. Fascinating books. And four of the five you can get for free with a free trial of Amazon Audible…definitely worth it! I hope you enjoy them.

Success by Day – Knowledge & Mentors (Paradise Lost)

You’ve heard me talk about Paradise Lost before…Milton was a genius, so there are so many ideas and theories to talk about in his work. This is one of the most relevant, probably: the idea of consuming knowledge and experience. That’s what I’m all about! Enjoy 🙂

P.S. Tomorrow I’ll have that list I promised of the top books I recommend for learning and expanding your mind. I’ve gone through a lot of “stinkers” to find the best of the best 🙂

What Stress And Anxiety Really Mean

Pulling Hair

I had an interesting conversation with my girlfriend last night. She’s in school to become a Physical Therapist, and she mentioned the controversy surrounding how to treat an injury immediately after it occurs: heat or ice. Some people maintain that ice is better because it reduces swelling which prevents further injury, while others say that heat is better because it promotes the effects of swelling, which is our body’s natural response to injury.

This last part is what interested me the most. Maybe it’s wise to listen to our bodies…after all, they have millions of years of evolution on their side…they know what heals them the most efficiently.

And it’s about this I wanted to talk to you today. Stress and anxiety seem to be the two worst things getting the most buzz and attention. Why do we stress? Lots of people will say it’s from working too hard and too long…but I don’t buy it. The people who do what they love for a living willingly work 80 hours a week sometimes and don’t feel the negative effects of stress. So what gives?

Well, here’s an idea: stress and anxiety are signals your body sends to you, and they must be sent for a reason. I think that it sends those signals to you to let you know something on the outside needs to change. It’s similar to a fight or flight response. So, what I’m really saying here is, if you’re overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, and maybe even depression, it very well could be your body telling you that you need to make a change.

What kind of change? It could be a myriad of things: diet, physical appearance, your career, your income, your relationships, your spending habits…anything. What are you unhappy about? More importantly, what are you unhappy about and don’t consciously realize you’re unhappy about? Take your stress as a sign that something needs to change, and then take the responsibility to make that change occur.

This post will also be featured on TheBulbCulture.wordpress.com. Be sure to head over there to see more great stuff, and contact Jacob to submit articles! He’s building a community of positive people to motivate each other and others.

Risk Is Happiness

Grinding It Out

I just recently finished reading “Grinding It Out,” the story of the making of McDonalds, by Ray Kroc. I have to start off by saying that YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! I suggest books that I read that I find interesting, but I really think this one should be required reading for everyone. Seriously…it’s worth the $8. Go to Amazon and buy it right now.

Something Ray mentions toward the end of the book is that happiness can only come as a result of overcoming risk. He says we should take risks in our career, because the sense of achievement we get after we overcome risk is what really brings us happiness.

I wondered about this…and maybe this is why people who take “safe,” 9-5 jobs that they don’t have passion for is what makes them largely unhappy, because they took no risk and there is no sense of achievement. It makes sense. When you take a risk, you feel worthy of the outcome. Also, if you put yourself into a position where you have to succeed, you will. If there are no other options, you have to take the only one available. Burn the ships!

What do you think about this? Do you think our ability to overcome risk and to turn it into achievement is ultimately what makes us happy? It makes sense…we are naturally drawn toward progression, and overcoming difficulty and risk is one of the best ways to progress!

I would really like to stress that you need to read this book. I don’t say that about many books (just three actually…I think I might do a post about my top recommended books, so stay tuned!). You can also pick up a copy of my notes on this book right here. Use coupon code “freeplease” to get those for free! A thank you for reading my blog 🙂

Why You’re Important

Connection

I could go on for pages and pages about reasons why you, one single human being in a world of over 7 billion people, are pivotal to the human race. But I think it will have more of an impact if I go with a more local approach.

Consider all of the people you run into every day, the people you pass by without giving them a second thought, the people who hand you your coffee in the morning, the people you know and love, and the strangers you meet only once and will likely never see again.

Every single one of those people is a person. Each one has a story, has had experiences you may never have, and can teach you something you don’t know. It’s true, we have access to a more-or-less infinite wealth of knowledge at all times: the internet. But there’s one thing you can’t get from the internet as readily as you can from talking to people: connection.

I know what you’re thinking: this post is supposed to be about why I’M important…so far you’ve only told me why OTHER people are important. Look at yourself as one of these people, though. You have had experiences other people haven’t. You know things that other people don’t, that other people want and need to hear.

This is why I think we need to connect to people more. We need not to be afraid of getting into a conversation with a stranger that’s deeper than what the weather looks like. Ask questions, reach out to people, tell people the things you’ve learned, be a mentor to someone, share experiences.

A week or two ago I connected with Jacob, the author of thebulbculture.wordpress.com, and this morning we Skyped for about an hour, and we realized that we come from incredibly similar backgrounds, and are working toward the same things in life. And now I’m feeling more motivated and positive and powerful than I was before. I’m confident we can both teach each other something, and we can build something amazing together that will change people’s lives. Imagine if he hadn’t reached out to me.

And I just think about the impact that we will both have on people, and about what we would miss out on if he hadn’t. Two minds working and thinking and progressing together can create something much more powerful than they could independently.

So YOU are important. Jacob mentioned that a lot of people operate for themselves, on an individual level, but that it’s important to reach out, to work together, to share experiences and ideas and thoughts and stories. Connection is what makes us great. Whether you do that through The Bulb Culture, or through comments to people on WordPress, or in person, know that it’s important, that YOU are important, and that the ability to connect and create a sum greater than the parts is what makes humans incredible.

A sincere thank you to Jacob. Go check out his site, he’s an awesome guy with a whole lot of passion for helping people.

Success by Day – Lessons of History (Part 3)

I just can’t seem to stop talking about this book! There are so many great ideas in here that had me thinking for weeks!

If you’re interested, head over to my website and get a copy of my notes on this book (use coupon code “freeplease” to get them for free, as a thank you for reading my blog!). You can also find the link to the book on Amazon there, and a handful of other books I recommend 🙂