15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy


Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress, and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress-free and happy – we cling on to them.

Not anymore.

Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right

 There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame

 Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk

 Oh, my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs

Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining

 Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change

Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 
Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels

 Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
 Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present.

Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all, life is a journey, not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment

This is a concept that for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice.

The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think are best for them.

They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually, they forget about themselves.

You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.


When All Hope Is Gone

“I wanna ask you, “How are you?” What heaviness are you carrying? What tears do you hold back? What pain, what fears, are kept inside?” ~ Nick Vujicic
When all hope is gone; when you feel lost, confused, abandoned and all alone; when darkness seems to swallow you and pain is all you feel, I want you to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and when you’re ready, I want you to watch this beautiful and inspiring video. It will soothe your soul, and it will remind you that are not alone. There is still hope.

“I wanna ask you, “How are you?” What heaviness are you carrying? What tears do you hold back? What pain, what fears, are kept inside?

You don’t have to hold onto these fears if you just take one step at a time. Not to say that one day those fears will completely disappear but, can you forgive those who hurt you? Because that’s where healing starts. Every time someone puts you back will you make a decision to bring somebody else up? Picture yourself in a proper area. There is no buildings, no shelter, and there is a storm above you. This storm represents the situations in your life you don’t tell anybody what you are going through because first of all, they wouldn’t understand, and second of all, they can’t even help you anyway. During this storm you’re down on your knees, and you’re cold, and you’re weak, and you feels like this is the end. Are you not still here?

You are still here. There are some times in life when you fall down. You feel like you don’t have the strength to get back up. But if I fell I try again and again. For as long as I try there is always that chance of getting up. And it’s not the end until you given up. And just the fact that you are here should persuade you that you have another chance to get back. There’s still hope

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/uXCVp7MIyNw

There are some times in life when you fall down. You feel like you don’t have the strength to get back up. But if I fell I try again and again. For as long as I try there is always that chance of getting up. And it’s not the end until you given up. And just the fact that you are here should persuade you that you have another chance to get back. There’s still hope.” ~ Nick Vujicic


Beautiful Noise

Sound helps you to release blocked energy, says music therapist and sound healing practitioner, PANKAJ BORICHA

Among the world’s noisiest cities are Shanghai,Tokyo,New York and Mumbai — cities full of sound pollutants.We are surrounded by different sound frequencies, some of which are not even audible. Unconsciously, these noise forms have multiple adverse effects on our health.As the effects of noise pollution pile up, we end up with hearing loss, stress, sleep disturbance and heart disease. According to a new analysis, stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline released over time could eventually lead to high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure. We are also losing our power of listening due to these excessive sound pollutants. Eventually, these affect us mentally and physically and lead to behavioural changes. We must educate ourselves on how we can harness this ancient technique and use the power of sound and music for healing and curing diseases. Once we understand this knowledge,we can spread awareness about sound and use it as a healing tool.

Different modalities of sound have been used in medical science — ultra sound and lithotripsy are among a few of them. But the majority of us are not aware about the power of sound as a sonic and acoustic weapon. Sound has been used in various cultures for centuries as a tool for healing — through the use of mantras and chanting, by playing instruments such as didgeridoo to heal bone fractures, and Tibetan bowl bells and gongs to produce different sound frequencies to align mental and physical health.All these techniques use sound to move us from imbalance to a balanced state of mind. Sound therapy offers cure for a variety of health problems including sleep disorders,anxiety,depression,stress management, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and pain management.

Our brainwaves are tuned to different sound vibrations through sound rhythm and frequency.We entrain our brainwaves to down-shift our normal waking consciousness beta state to a relaxed alpha state and can reach theta meditative state and deep sleep delta state where internal healing can occur. This same concept has been utilised in meditation by regulating the breath,but with sound and music at a certain frequency, it’s easier to influence a shift.In sound therapy, as you prepare yourself to become the receiver of sound,by becoming more receptive and aware of each sound, it creates a pathway of stillness,the same way as meditation or chanting a mantra does.Eventually, this helps us reach the still point to an active subconscious state of mind. The tools here are sound, voice, rhythm, drumming and frequency. Awareness plays a huge role in our own healing. Also, we must realise that our voice is incredibly powerful. It is our body that has the ability to fine-tune our greatest vibrational instrument. Sound frequency helps in releasing blocked energy and you are able to recycle your energy back into your life force,toward the energetic filtration system of each chakra.You must be aware of the different kinds of sounds that you take in daily from your immediate living environment. For instance,we are usually irritated with traffic sounds and the constant high decibel levels in local trains.Loud sounds elevate our stress levels, creating imbalances in our nervous system,lower our immunity and in extreme cases, cause hearing loss. When we are stressed, our whole relationship to sound changes.Even routine, everyday sounds become magnified and contribute to the feedback cycle of the stress. However, by utilising sound therapy techniques, we can become better listeners and more aware of the sounds we take in. Many of us already have a pretty good understanding of the benefits of healthy eating, yoga,meditation,and exercise.The same is true of sound therapy. We know mindfulness practices like chanting and vocal toning help us to find a centre and feel grounded. Our body, mind and spirit always want to move in a direction toward balance from noise to silence, yet we often have excess outer stimulus and noise and not enough time to dedicate to ourselves. This prevents us from achieving a better state of harmony. Sound has a way of helping us reach the source of the inner peace that we all seek. Let’s improve our power of listening and be aware consciously of different sounds, so that we can gradually improve the quality of our life and that of people around us.

Source: speakingtree.in

The Key to Getting All You Want? Discipline

Without the discipline of paying constant, daily attention, we take things for granted. Be serious. Life is not a practice session.

For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards. That’s one of life’s great arrangements. If you sow well, you will reap well. Life is full of laws that both govern and explain behaviors, but the law of sowing and reaping may well be the major law we need to understand: For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards.

Self Discipline

What a concept! If you render unique service, your reward will be multiplied. If you’re fair and honest and patient with others, your reward will be multiplied. If you give more than you expect to receive, your reward is more than you expect. But remember: The key word here—as you might well imagine—is discipline.

 Everything of value requires care, attention and discipline. Our thoughts require discipline. We must consistently determine our inner boundaries and our codes of conduct, or our thoughts will be confused. And if our thoughts are confused, we will become hopelessly lost in the maze of life. Confused thoughts produce confused results.

Remember the law: For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards. Learn the discipline of writing a card or a letter to a friend. Learn the discipline of paying your bills on time, or arriving to appointments on time, or using your time more effectively. Learn the discipline of paying attention, or paying your taxes, or paying yourself. Learn the discipline of having regular meetings with your associates, or your spouse, or your child, or your parent. Learn the discipline of learning all you can learn, of teaching all you can teach, of reading all you can read.

              For each discipline, multiple rewards; for each book, new knowledge; for each success, new ambition; for each challenge, new understanding; for each failure, new determination. Life is like that. Even the bad experiences of life provide their own special contribution. But a word of caution here for those who neglect the need for care and attention to life’s disciplines: everything has its price. Everything affects everything else. Neglect discipline, and there will be a price to pay. All things of value can be taken for granted with the passing of time.

That’s what we call the Law of Familiarity. Without the discipline of paying constant, daily attention, we take things for granted. Be serious. Life is not a practice session.

Think about your life at this moment. What areas need attention right now? Perhaps you’ve had a disagreement with someone you love or someone who loves you, and your anger won’t allow you to speak to that person. Wouldn’t this be an ideal time to examine your need for a new discipline? Perhaps you’re on the brink of giving up, or starting over, or starting out. And the only missing ingredient to your incredible success story in the future is a new and self-imposed discipline that will make you try harder and work more intensely than you ever thought you could.

The most valuable form of discipline is the one that you impose upon yourself. Don’t wait for things to deteriorate so drastically that someone else must impose discipline in your life. Wouldn’t that be tragic? How could you possibly explain the fact that someone else thought more of you than you thought of yourself? That they forced you to get up early and get out into the marketplace when you would have been content to let success go to someone else who cared more about themselves.

Your life, my life, the life of each one of us is going to serve as either a warning or an example. A warning of the consequences of neglect, self-pity, lack of direction and ambition… or an example of talent put to use, of discipline self-imposed, and of objectives clearly perceived and intensely pursued.


7 Ways to Develop Daily Discipline

Many people wonder how I manage to stay so disciplined. They think my life must be very hard because I’ve always followed a strict schedule, from when I was training to be an Olympic athlete to now, since I’ve co-founded Onbotraining, an online coaching service that helps people achieve their goals.

But I don’t see it that way because I love what I do. My journey to the Olympics showed me what it takes to become skilled at something, and I don’t mind replicating that journey in my professional life. I have never minded the struggle because I know it offers me the opportunity to reach my goals.

I worked full time while I trained full time for the Beijing Olympics. I am not an exception in the world of elite athletes—many support themselves with dual high-level careers and live their dreams by achieving their Olympic goals. They push their capabilities to their limits and enjoy lives of purpose.

These athletes know how discipline works, how it shows you are in control of your life. It’s the path to get anything you want.

So how do you maintain a discipline? By combining an automated brain program—doing whatever needs to be done—with an incredible commitment to your goal.

It becomes increasingly harder to be disciplined in a society that prizes instant gratification. We are more concerned about feeling good all the time, so we seek immediate pleasures, whether it’s a new car, an exotic trip or a new partner. Our long-term goals are not so important anymore. We get comfortable and wait for a special event to give our lives meaning, happiness and success.

Discipline is the difference between being in control of your future and letting your environment dictate your destiny.

Discipline means freedom and happiness. It gives you the ability to do what you want because you know you can learn how to achieve any dream you set your mind to. Discipline teaches you how to control your thoughts—and how to be happy in any situation, to visualize positive emotions and trigger an optimistic mood. Discipline builds self-confidence, mental and physical strength, and inspires you to grow as a human being. With growth comes the ability to enjoy life in deeper, more meaningful ways.

Anyone can develop discipline. It’s a skill and it’s not complicated—you just have to train yourself for it.

 7 Ways to Develop Daily Discipline

Here’s how:

1. Set big goals.

When you challenge yourself to achieve bigger goals, you really dedicate yourself to the craft. The more time you spend on it, the harder it becomes to quit. Once you have spent so much sweat, time and effort on it, if you quit, it will be for nothing. The bigger the goal, the more invested you become.

2. Set clear goals.

Clearly define what your goal means to you and what you will specifically do to achieve it. If you set a goal to live healthier, for example, will you go running every day? At what time and for how long? Will you eat healthy? If there is no clear goal, there is no opportunity to create the specific steps you’d need to do to accomplish it.

3. Know that every day matters.

When you wake up in the morning, do you know what’s most important for you to accomplish that day? Every goal, every priority, you have set for yourself has to be done—it will determine whether your dream lives or dies. Athletes know if they skip even one training session, they are already behind; they know they will lose a competition that is still three months away if they don’t do what they said they would, if they don’t follow through with their plan—if they aren’t disciplined.

4. Don’t argue with the plan.

If you want to go to the Olympics, each training session matters; there isn’t one that’s less important than another. It’s the same with everything else in your life. When you start the process, you cannot question it, you cannot hesitate, you cannot back down—you have to work hard every single day to reach your dream, full force.

Related: The 5 Non-Negotiable Disciplines of a High Achiever

5. Build a no-matter-what mindset.

Build the mindset that no matter what, you will accomplish things when you said you would. No matter what. You have to create pressure for yourself, otherwise nothing will get done. There is good stress and bad stress, and you have to make sure you are operating under good stress—butterflies in the stomach, a manageable adrenaline that stimulates you.

6. Plan a routine.

Create a routine that becomes second nature, automatic, normal. Athletes, for example, know what hours they train, when to break for lunchtime and dinnertime, and when to rest. In training, they know they have to do a warm-up, main training, and cool-down and recovery. By following the same routine, it becomes second nature—the discipline preps them to win. Planning your own routine—and sticking to it until it becomes automatic—can prep you for success, too.

7. Commit.

Discipline was instilled in me by my mom. When I would ask her if I could start art, dancing or volleyball classes, she would say, “Be careful in choosing where you will spend your time, because you won’t be able to quit. You will have to follow through with it until the end, and do it well.” So I really considered whether I would be able to commit to something for a long time. And when I knew, when I chose the one thing I wanted to do, it made me want to figure out how to keep getting better at it—it made me want to commit.

8. Understand the transformation process.

Your body and brain will do everything it can to resist change and growth. You need to know that it’s natural to feel lazy and undisciplined—but you also need to know that you have all the power to fight it. Start with your thoughts.

9. Go above feelings.

The hardest part about discipline is maintaining the actions needed to achieve your dream or state of happiness. It requires constant hard work and fighting against comfort and instant pleasures. To do so, you have to separate yourself from the feelings that stop you, like fatigue, laziness or self-pity. You have to go above them, even if your feelings tell you that you are tired, stressed and alone in this struggle. Discipline is the direct training of a fighter.

10. Resist the brain.

All people are lazy, even the most successful businesspeople, the most accomplished athletes and the most talented actors. But it’s not simply laziness—it’s your brain saving energy for you. Any movement takes energy, and the brain is doing everything to stop you from moving by sending body signals about how hard it is to move and thoughts about how scary it would be if you fail. But you can trick your brain: Imagine your body is a beautiful machine and you are operating it as a higher force from above. Separate yourself from your body. Play it as a computer game. You are the one who commands your body to accomplish tasks.

11. Find pleasure in the hard work.

Shift your focus to the process and concentrate on getting the work done faster and better every time. Speed is important; you have to move quickly in order to achieve perfection in a set amount of time.

So many people quit too early. Success is all about persistence, and discipline is what gets you to your final destination—the realization of your dream. The more you learn about your craft and your capabilities, when you start seeing yourself improve, the results will make you hungry for more. Self-improvement is an amazing drug.

I love discipline because it is a source of power. It is an engine that helps us understand and explore our capabilities and life’s opportunities. Discipline is not boring; it’s the freedom to put all our energy into creating something meaningful and beautiful.

It’s up to us to choose the life with discipline or without, with a goal or without, with a dream or without.


The Secret to Overcoming Depression.

Depression affects untold millions of people each year and, is a serious psychological disorder. Unfortunately, many people who are suffering from depression do not seek treatment for it, apprehensive about what the society may think of them.

They might be unwilling to face change on their own as they lack the courage to do so. Depression treatment still suffers from a lot of misconceptions – how long it takes for treatment to be effective, and whether it is actually worth it.

1Depression – What is it?

The occasional bouts of sadness that all of us experience from time to time is not depression. Instead, it is an unrelenting feeling of immense sadness for at least two weeks and longer. It is characterized by the inability to take pleasure from almost any of life’s activities, and feeling broken or lacking the normal energy levels that you had before the depression set in.

People diagnosed with clinical depression find it difficult to maintain normal sleeping and eating patterns. These are physical symptoms that accompany depression. There is also an immense feeling of hopelessness for most of the people who suffer from depression. As if nothing will ever get better again.

Thus it is no wonder that a person with depression does not see the light at the end of the tunnel. A sense of hopelessness prevails. You become a pessimist and become negative towards everyone including yourself. It is not just the blues; it seems as if someone has greyed out the entire world altogether.

Read more: https://blog.portea.com/the-secret-to-overcoming-depression/

This Is Why Our Generation Doesn’t Believe In Settling Down.

We look at the white picket fence homes that we are supposed to settle down into and only see limitations.

You see, we were told to never settle. We were told to reach for the stars and then build a rocket to get there. We were told that the weak settle for content lives instead of striving for happy ones. We were told to look for the best and only accept the answer once we know it is the best. We were taught these things by the older generations who now call us crazy for believing those things.

We explore. We travel. We grow. We meet new people. We are creating families out of connections that have nothing to do with blood. We look at the white picket fence homes that we are supposed to settle down into and only see limitations.

For us, settling down is the same thing as settling for a mediocre life.

There is a whole world to explore still. There are empires to create. There are dreams to achieve. There are places to go, people to see, and memories to be made. And buying a two-story house in the suburbs of the small town, USA would only get in the way of all of that. We’ve discovered that you don’t need a house to be at home. We value experiencesand connect rather than material investments such as huge houses.

This doesn’t mean we aren’t out there getting married or starting families, it just means they don’t look the way our parent’s families did. We are having kids and traveling with them. We are marrying who we want, when we want, and then seeing the world with them. We are doing the jobs we want to do, where we want to do them. We are still creating life it just doesn’t look the way they are used to.

We understand that life isn’t meant to be lived in one place anymore. We live in such a globalized world now. We travel as far as we can for as long as we can and then just maybe we consider staying put.

Maybe that makes us a crazy generation. Maybe this makes us unstable. Or maybe it just means we are squeezing every drop out of this life we were given and doing it in the way we want to. Maybe we understand that change isn’t a bad thing and that life is going to shift with or without us. Things are going to constantly change no matter what we do so why not change things ourselves?


Why You Need Discipline to Achieve the Good Life.

We spend our lives gathering knowledge, skills and experiences. But what are we doing with it?
Why You Need Discipline to Achieve the Good Life

What’s at the core of achieving the good life? It is not learning how to set goals. It is not learning how to better manage your time. It is not mastering the attributes of leadership.

Every day in a thousand different ways, we are trying to improve ourselves by learning how to do things. We spend a lifetime gathering knowledge—in classrooms, in textbooks, in experiences. And if knowledge is power, if knowledge is the forerunner to success, why do we fall short of our objectives? Why, in spite of all our knowledge and collected experiences, do we find ourselves aimlessly wandering? Settling in for a life of existence rather than a life of substance?

There might be many answers to this question. Your answer might be different from everyone else you know. Although there might be many answers to this question, the ultimate answer might be the absence of discipline in applying our knowledge. The key word is discipline, as in self-discipline.

It doesn’t really matter how smart you are if you don’t use your knowledge. It doesn’t really matter that you graduated magna cum laude if you’re stuck in a low-paying job. It doesn’t really matter that you attend every seminar that comes to town if you don’t apply what you’ve learned.

We spend our lives gathering: gathering knowledge, gathering skills, gathering experiences. But we must also apply the knowledge.

We spend our lives gathering: gathering knowledge, gathering skills, gathering experiences. But we must also apply the knowledge, skills and experiences we gather in the realms of life and business. We must learn to use what we’ve learned.

And once we’ve applied our knowledge, we must study the results of that process and refine our approach.

 Finally, by trying and observing and refining and trying again, our knowledge will inevitably produce worthy, admirable results. And with the joy and results of our efforts, we continue to fuel our ambition with the positive reinforcement of continued progress. Pretty soon, we’ll find that we’re swept into a spiral of achievement, a vertical rise to success. And the ecstasy of that total experience makes for a life triumphant over tragedy, dullness and mediocrity.

But for this whole process to work for us, we must first master the art of consistent self-discipline. It takes consistent self-discipline to master the art of setting goals, time management, leadership, parenting and relationships. If we don’t make consistent self-discipline part of our daily lives, the results we seek will be sporadic and elusive. It takes a consistent effort to truly manage our valuable time. Without it, we’ll be consistently frustrated. Our time will be eaten up by others whose demands are stronger than our own.

It takes discipline to conquer the nagging voices in our minds: the fear of failure, the fear of success, the fear of poverty, the fear of a broken heart. It takes discipline to keep trying when that nagging voice within us brings up the possibility of failure.

It takes discipline to admit our errors and recognize our limitations. The voice of the human ego speaks to all of us. Sometimes, that voice tells us to magnify our value or accomplishments beyond our actual results. It leads us to exaggerate, to not be totally honest. It takes discipline to be totally honest, both with ourselves and with others.

Be certain of one thing: Every exaggeration of the truth, once detected by others, destroys our credibility. It makes all that we say and do suspect. As soon as a business colleague figures out that we tend to exaggerate, guess what… he or she will think we always exaggerate. And they’ll never quite hold us in the same regard again. Never.

The tendency to exaggerate, distort or even withhold the truth is an inherent part of all of us. It starts when we’re kids. Johnny says, “I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it!” Well maybe Johnny didn’t do it, but he probably had something to do with it. And then it continues when we’re adults: exaggerating the benefits of a product to make a sale, exaggerating our net worth to impress old friends, exaggerating how closer we are to closing a deal to impress the boss. Only an all-out, disciplined assault can overcome this tendency.

It takes discipline to change a habit, because once habits are formed, they act like a giant cable, a nearly unbreakable instinct.

It takes discipline to change a habit, because once habits are formed, they act like a giant cable, a nearly unbreakable instinct that only long-term, disciplined activity can change. We must unweave every strand of the cable of the habits, slowly and methodically, until the cable that once held us in bondage becomes nothing more than scattered strands of wire. It takes the consistent application of a new discipline, a more desirable discipline, to overcome one which is less desirable.

It takes discipline to plan. It takes discipline to execute our plan. It takes discipline to look with full objectivity at the results of our applied plan. And it takes discipline to change either our plan or our method of executing that plan if the results are poor. It takes discipline to be firm when the world throws opinions at our feet. And it takes discipline to ponder the value of someone else’s opinion when our pride and our arrogance lead us to believe that we are the only ones with the answers.

With this consistent discipline applied to every area of our lives, we can discover untold miracles and uncover unique possibilities and opportunities.


Television series’ successful people watch

There’s a general belief that successful people watch very little, if any, television. The theory probably stems from the old wives’ tale that says “TV rots your brain,” and spending hours watching shows and films is nothing but a waste of time.


However, everyone needs downtime. And there’s nothing wrong with choosing to relax with a good movie or Netflix series. After all, with all the money being poured into production nowadays, we really are in a golden age of television and film.

As it turns out, plenty of successful people from the President to award-winning actors and directors make time to watch popular shows. Even Bill Gates has a few favourites.

Here’s a list of what 11 super successful people like to kick back and watch — when they have the time.

Michelle Obama — ‘Scandal’

Michelle Obama — 'Scandal'

The former First Lady of the United States is apparently a huge fan of the ABC drama “Scandal,” which is also on Netflix. According to People, she loves the series so much that when she met one of the stars — Bellamy Young — she asked her about the storylines before even introducing herself.

Theresa May — ‘Poirot’

Theresa May — 'Poirot'

In 2016, Theresa May told the Radio Times that she likes to watch “a good Agatha Christie show,” and that “David Suchet was a great Poirot – he got him to a T.”

The Prime Minister also manages to find the time to watch Doctor Who at Christmas.

Jennifer Lawrence — ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’

Jennifer Lawrence — 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians'

When she isn’t winning Oscars, Jennifer Lawrence is reportedly a massive fan of reality TV.

Speaking about when she bumped into Lawrence at a New York hotel, Kim Kardashian told The Sun: “We said ‘hi’ and walked into the elevator,” she said. “And as the doors were closing, she screamed across the lobby, ‘I love your show’. We were laughing so hard.”

Hillary Clinton — ‘The Good Wife’

Hillary Clinton — 'The Good Wife'

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking at a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. October 28, 2016.

In 2015, Hillary Clinton sat down for an interview with South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison and revealed “The Good Wife” was one of her favourite shows. She also likes “Madam Secretary,” “Downton Abbey,” and what she called “House and Garden TV” like “Love it or List it” and “Beachfront Bargain Hunt.”

Bill Gates — ‘Homeland’

Bill Gates — 'Homeland'

Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.

In February, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates did a Reddit AMA in which he revealed some of his favourite shows.

“There are so many great TV shows now I can’t keep up,” he said. “I thought someone might ask specifically about ‘Silicon Valley,’ which I love. I can relate to Richard. ‘Silicon Valley’ captures a lot of how crazy it is to start a new company and the dynamics of success. All the employees of Pied Piper remind me of people I have known.”

He narrowed the rest of his list down to “Homeland,” “This is Us,” “The Crown,” “The Knick,” and “Downton Abbey.”

Warren Buffet — ‘Breaking Bad’

Warren Buffet — 'Breaking Bad'

Mega-investor Warren Buffet was a big fan of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” when it was on. According to an interview with Buzzfeed, he thought the storyline was compelling and the acting was superb.

“This is my number one show, by far,” he said. “[Walter White] is a great businessman… He’s my guy if I ever have to go toe-to-toe with anyone.”

Jennifer Aniston — ‘The Bachelor’

Jennifer Aniston — 'The Bachelor'

The “Friends” actress is apparently a superfan of the reality TV series which first aired in 2002. In December, she went on Jimmy Kimmel Live and shared her predictions of who the final four would be.

Quentin Tarantino — ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Quentin Tarantino — 'How I Met Your Mother'

Director Quentin Tarantino gestures as he arrives for the German premiere of “The Hateful Eight” at Zoo Palast cinema in Berlin, Germany, January 26, 2016.

Yes, you read that right. In an interview with New York Magazine, Quentin Tarantino revealed the last two shows he watched all the way through were FX series “Justified” and sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”

Barack Obama — ‘House of Cards’

Barack Obama — 'House of Cards'

President Barack Obama onstage at his farewell address in Chicago

The former president was such a fan of “House of Cards,” he even impersonated Frank Underwood, the manipulative president in the show played by Kevin Spacey, in an episode of the White House web series “West Wing Week.”

In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in 2014, Obama said: “I have to tell you, life in Washington is a little more boring than displayed on the screen. The truth of the matter is, if you followed me, most of my day is sitting in a room listening to a bunch of folks in gray suits talking about a whole bunch of stuff that wouldn’t make very good television.”

Drew Barrymore — ‘Game of Thrones’

Drew Barrymore — 'Game of Thrones'

Drew Barrymore showed off her love of “Game of Thrones” with an Instagram photo showing her wearing a “Mother of Dragons” t-shirt, a reference to the character Daenerys Targaryen in the show. Barrymore somehow manages to find the time to watch the HBO series between juggling being a mother, running her businesses, acting, and directing.

Eddie Redmayne — ‘The Real Housewives’ franchise

Eddie Redmayne — 'The Real Housewives' franchise

In an interview with People, Eddie Redmayne admitted he is also a fan of reality TV. He may have won an Oscar for playing one of the greatest scientific minds in the world, but apparently when he gets home Redmayne likes nothing more than putting his feet up and switching on “The Real Housewives.”

He added: “I’ve been a closet lover of faux-reality TV since ‘The Hills.’ It’s bad.”


7 books that will give you the tech knowledge you need to start a business

We hear of Mark Zuckerberg’s possible interest in running for president. We refer to Elon by his first name. Bill Gates is the richest man in the world.

And every college kid dreams of becoming a tech billionaire. There’s a certain ‘hollywoodization’ of entrepreneurship.

man reading on bench

It’s also much easier to start a business. Throw up a website using one of the many templates out there, host it on Amazon Web Services or GoDaddy, find a problem you think exists, and go about trying to solve it.

In some cases, folks even try to raise money before the idea is fully fleshed out. It feels that easy. What this has led to is a false narrative about the required level of understanding of what you need to build a business.

It’s the easiest time in the world to start a business, but it’s also never been harder to build one.

I hear this gap in the foundational understanding of business and technology in the many conversations I have with founders. While I recommend that actually doing the work of starting a business and screwing it up is the best way to learn, I also share the story of ‘the Elephant and the blind men‘:

A group of blind men all touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one touches a different part and consequently think it is something other than an elephant.

One cannot tell the whole from the parts; just because you think you see a small part of a problem in an industry does not mean you understand how to solve the problem. Most entrepreneurs jump into solving a problem without truly understanding the whole picture, or the ‘why’ of the problem.

To help these founders along, I recommend some books that provide a systems understanding of technology. Here are nine books that’ll ramp you up quickly so that, when you do step out there to start your business, you understand the trends you’re riding, what part of the business cycle you’re in, and what foundational systems/models you’re going up against.

Penguin Books

1. ‘What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

A good friend and fellow utility tech enthusiast friend (Eugene Granovsky) clued me into this book. Kevin Kelly would be considered the opposite of Neil Postman (below), as he is one of the foremost proponents of the value that we can gain from the technological changes that are inevitable in our lives.

He shares more of the expectations that he has of the technological systems changes around us in his newest book “The Inevitables.” We’re already seeing the HOLOS = Tech/The Machine + 7 Billion Souls, a force he expounds upon, at play around us.

Chelsea Green Publishing

2. ‘Thinking In Systems: A Primerby Donella Meadow

This book explains the need to understand systems as a whole. A holistic understanding of systems and the models that operate within these systems at all times is necessary before any disruption can happen. As I like to say (and unfortunately I cannot remember where or from whom I first heard this quote): “to disrupt a thing, you have to truly understand it.”

W. W. Norton & Company

3. ‘The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

The current backlash against AI, robots, etc., is nothing new. This book focuses on the impact of exponential and combinatorial technological change on human work. Read this as much for the message (we need to proactively do something to push back the worsening conditions of income disparity brought on by technology) as for the study of the systems that are impacted by game-changing technological advances like AI and machine learning.


4. ‘The Master Switch by Tim Wu

I’m a big Tim Wu fan. In this book, he discusses the impact of technology (and the information flow that our technology makes possible) on the TV, movie and internet industries.

The book is as much a journey through the life of these industries as it is a description of the cycles that technology goes through as they become ubiquitous; all useful technology is innovative until it becomes commonplace. Pair the book with his new one “The Attention Merchants to learn more about how we got to this point in the life of the internet.


5. ‘Future Shock by Alvin Toffler

I am currently reading this book again, and amongst the many quotes that one can pull from this prescient book, one that speaks to the now of communication technology, is: “…but in almost every other communications medium we can trace a decreasing reliance on mass audiences. Everywhere the ‘market segmentation, process is at work.”

Another quote that is closely related to the premise of “The Second Machine Age” (above) in the age of AI is: “there are discoverable limits to the amount of change that the human can absorb, and that by endlessly accelerating change without first determining these limits, we may submit masses of (hu)mans to demands they simply cannot tolerate.”

While some of the context might be outdated, as the book was written in 1970, the overarching musings (the accelerating pace of change and of information overload) still hold true today. Probably more so.


6. ‘Technopoly by Neil Postman

The copy of this book I read is actually my wife’s copy from her undergraduate degree days. Apparently, in her major at Stanford, she had to read this and share her views on the perspectives provided by Neil Postman.

It’s the most marked book I’ve ever read (she’s studious like that) but that element of it (someone else’s notes) makes it a fantastic read of a great book that focuses on the inequalities that technology brings to society.

Mariner Books

7. ‘The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

This might seem like an odd one to include on here until you read why. I was having a conversation with Jeremy Adelman about this blog post and… you know what, I’ll let him explain more eloquently than I could why this book helps you understand technology (hint: it helps us understand our biases, and we all know our biases seep into the products we build):

“Few books force you to confront who you are and your perception of situations and trends. We all have filters and lenses through which we perceive the world and our interpretation of our present and future is wholly through these lenses. This is a critical realization if you want to look at technology trends and build a product that is both on trend and lasting in its ability to solve human pains. Life Of Pi truly makes us think about these lenses and biases.”


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