Education & Experience Don’t Guarantee Success—Attitude & Habits Do

Professional success is a culmination of many factors. Your education matters—maybe not as much as you think, but a degree in your field can really jump-start your progress. Your experience certainly matters, but that can only come to you after years of dedication. Your talent matters, too, but aside from skills (which develop from experience) most of your talent is innate, meaning you have a natural tendency to perform well in certain areas more than others. Your network of contacts matters, but you can’t always control who you interact with. And ultimately, at least some of your career success is going to come down to a factor of luck.

Looking at these things, it seems like there is little you can control. But none of these things will matter if you neglect the most important things you need to create for yourself:

1. A Positive Attitude

The whole “positive attitude” angle might seem like a gimmick—after all, can you think of anybody successful who got to where they are only because they thought positive thoughts? Of course not. But you can trace almost any successful entrepreneur or professional’s journey and find at least one major obstacle that nearly disrupted everything. And in the face of that obstacle, they remained positive, which motivated action rather than submission, and eventually, they rose to the top.

Positive thinking is about more than helping you through the tough times. Research shows that positive self-talk, rather than negative self-talk, can actively reduce your stress levels, giving you greater physical and mental health and a greater capacity to perform to your maximum potential. The best part is that there aren’t any naturally positive or naturally negative people—your thoughts and your self-talk can be controlled with practice, meaning a positive attitude is something you can, and should, create for yourself.

2. Ongoing Habits

Our habits make us who we are. Over time, our repeated actions become automatic, or second nature, and once we’re in that groove it’s nearly impossible to break the chain. With bad habits, like sleeping through your first alarm or working through your breaks, this unbroken chain can come to destroy you. But with positive habits, like regularly reading or fact checking all of your work, this unbroken chain can lead you to success.

Though many habits form unconsciously through our natural actions, it is possible to create ongoing habits for yourself. The key to creating these habits is consistency—if you want to start doing something every day, you must force yourself to start doing it on a daily basis, and don’t allow yourself to slip in the first few weeks. After a few rounds of consistent effort, it will become easier. Breaking bad habits can be tougher, but it’s entirely within your power.

3. Goals

While your specific job may have company goals that dictate your actions, your professional goals are entirely within your control. Create goals that are too lofty and you’ll never be able to make significant progress. Create goals that are too easy, and you’ll never reach your true potential.

The reliable standby for creating good goals is the SMART criteria—an acronym that describes the five key qualities that all goals must have: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-specific. In addition to meeting these criteria, you should create goals on multiple scales. For example, you should have broad, flexible long-term goals detailing your plans for your long-term success, but you should also have smaller, more immediate, actionable goals that can lead you to those broader visions, and medium-sized goals in between the two to act as milestones.

4. Tactical Plans

Goals are good for helping you to hone your desires and set the tone for your career, but without a solid plan of execution, those desires are only pipe dreams. As an extension of your goals, you must learn to create tactical plans that detail how you’re going to achieve those goals. That might include a list of tasks you must accomplish before reaching the goal, a series of strategies you’re going to use while pursuing that goal, or a list of prerequisites you’ll need to have before moving on to the next phase of your plan. If you’re having trouble coming up with an initial plan, you may need to do additional research before moving forward.

5. A Healthy Environment

As humans, we are often products of our environments, and in the professional world, this is no different. If your desk is messy, your mind may be more frantic and cluttered. If you work in a noisy area full of distractions, you’ll never be able to focus. But perhaps more importantly, if you’re surrounded with negative, apathetic or downright lazy people, you’ll never be able to motivate yourself to achieve your goals. If you’re working in a place that doesn’t acknowledge hard work, you’ll never be able to progress.

Create your own environment to maximize your chances for success, whether that means working within the confines of your current organization or moving on to a better opportunity. Surround yourself with the types of people who will lead you to success, and structure your work environment so you can be your most productive.

Once you start creating these things for yourself consistently and with dedication, you will find yourself naturally gravitating toward a path of success. With a strong vision in your mind and the right attitude and environment to carry you through the obstacles that lie ahead, there should be nothing stopping you from achieving your goals.

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How Ibogaine Fights Stubborn Prescription Painkiller Addictions.

When he was 13 years old, Jeremy Sutton’s* mother passed away, and he began drinking alcohol to help cope with the trauma. Liquor became cocaine and cocaine became prescription drugs including oxycontin, Hydrocodone and methadone. By the time he turned 18, Sutton was fully addicted to prescription painkillers. His days were designed around getting a fix.

“Opiates were the ones that really stuck with me,” he says, “because they gave me a sort of superpower to deal with the void of being alive.”

While Sutton and a friend who also abused prescription opiates continually made plans to get clean, these plans never stuck. The friend mentioned an alternativeaddiction therapy he had heard called ibogaine, but they had no access to the underground treatment. When he was 25, Sutton checked into rehab. It was here that he met a fellow patient who told him about her experience with ibogaine.

“Obviously this person was in rehab, meaning that they had relapsed,” Sutton says, “but their testimonial was incredible.”

Tabernanthe iboga shrub

Ibogaine is a naturally occurring substance that causes users to experience an intense psychedelic experience that lasts for 24-36 hours, sometimes longer. This treatment clears the brain of addictive cravings while offering deep psycho-spiritual insights. “They made it clear that there’s still a lot of work afterwards,” Sutton says, “but the experience can be profound and can give you the chance to make changes for yourself.”

Derived from the root bark of Tabernanthe iboga shrub, ibogaine is an alkaloid ¾a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds¾ that has been used as a ceremonial sacrament by the Bwiti tribe of Western Central Africa for thousands of years. It has also been used as a treatment for various addictions since roughly 1962, when latemedical researcher and former heroin addict Howard Lotsof, often referred to as the “father of ibogaine” discovered its usefulness as what he called an “addiction interrupter.”

Ibogaine has proven particularly effective in treating opiate addiction, with the majority patients requiring only one session. It not only useful in removing the symptoms of drug withdrawal and reducing drug-cravings, but it has also been shown to help users understand and reverse their drug-using behaviors.

Sutton’s fellow rehab patient gave him the phone number of Beverly Weaver, an ibogaine facilitator at a treatment center in Baja, Mexico. Weaver has guided roughly 200 people through treatments during the past six years. Mexico is home to many such centers, as ibogaine is illegal in the United States, as well as various European countries, Brazil and Australia.

While it’s U.S. classification as a Schedule I drug categorizes ibogaine as a highly addictive substance with no medical properties, there is no scientific evidence that it is habit forming. The Internet offers thousands of anecdotal accounts regarding people successfully overcoming drug addictions via ibogaine. Controlled studies of its medicinal properties have taken place in New Zealand and Canada, the documentary Ibogaine: Rite of Passage chronicles its use, and author Daniel Pinchbeck wrote about traveling to Africa for ceremonial work with Iboga in his book 2002 bookBreaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism.

In 2012, the then 26-year-old Sutton flew from his native Houston to San Diego, where a representative from the treatment center picked him up and drove him across the border to Mexico. It was his first time leaving the country, and he was to stay for six days at a total cost of $3,000. (“Most places were pretty pricey,” he says. “This one was the cheapest I could find.”)

Before arriving in Mexico, Sutton had gotten an EKG and a liver panel to determine the health of his heart and liver. Such tests are critical, as ibogaine can kill patients with compromised cardiac and liver function. It’s also vital that patients are displaying visible signs of withdrawal such as pulse increase and sweating.

After settling in at the center, Sutton took a walk on the beach and began his treatment at 4pm. He was first given a small dose to test his tolerance. Within an hour, this dose had alleviated his withdrawals.

Beverly Weaver


“That’s a really lovely experience, Weaver says, “because in about 45 minutes the withdrawal symptoms go away and the person relaxes. It instills confidence in the person that what’s going to happen is actually going to work.”

Weaver emphasizes that it is essential to have a group of facilitators for each patient, as treatments are long and demanding, often multi-day ordeals. “Not just for sleep relief,” she says, “but energetically, if everyone is together rooting for this person, it has a big impact.” Surrounded by facilitators, Sutton ingested gradually higher doses of ibogaine, administered via capsules, until a predetermined dose based on his weight was reached.

“The first thing I experienced was anxiety and a feeling of electricity going through my whole body. It felt like my heart was beating out of my chest, but they took my blood pressure and everything was in order.”

Sutton then descended into the journey. After taking his third and final capsule, he began losing his motor skills. “I couldn’t lift up my head and was very light sensitive. I noticed a buzzing sound, and it felt like someone had plugged me into an electrical socket. My vision became static, like a static television, when my eyes were shut. I became very nauseous and even more scared. I was starting to lose sensation in my body.”

At this point, however, this period of electricity and frantic thinking to a slowed to a visionary state.

“The vision aspect seemed like I was traveling through the corridors of my own brain. The whole time there was a voice saying, ‘It’s okay; we don’t care what you did. We love you. We’ve always loved you.’ It was very frightening because of the circumstances, but there was always something in the back of my head telling me it was okay, and to relax.

Sutton continues: “The vision tapered down into this experience where I could ask myself any question and get an immediate answer that was crystal clear. Seven hours after I took [the ibogaine], I entered the reflective state and felt like I was getting all of the questions I had answered very clearly.” He laid in contemplative silence for another 12 hours.

21 hours after the ordeal began, Sutton emerged from the journey and found that “there was nothing in my head that was bothering me anymore. I cried a lot too. I remember very specifically that the reason I started crying was because I was not being nice to myself. I realized that I needed to start loving myself, and how much I had not been loving myself up until that point.”

Sutton then drifted to sleep. “I felt like I was floating above my body watching myself lay in bed. I woke up the next day feeling sort of beat up and tired, but in the best place I ever had been in up until that point.”

Tabernanthe iboga bark powder

While there is limited scientific research about how ibogaine works, evidence suggests that the substance resets neurotransmitters that have been programmed for addiction via consistent drug use.

“The simple way I like to explain it,” Weaver says, “is that when you do opiates, they touch receptors in your brain. You do them enough to grow an addiction and you form more of those receptors. When there’s no opiates on those receptors, you’ve got a lot of hungry little mouths yelling ‘I want opiates!’ Iboga goes in and heals all of those hungry little mouths and takes them back to their original state so they’re not hungry anymore.”

Weaver emphasizes that ibogaine does not just treat the addiction, but addresses underlying reasons for the addiction such as abuse and trauma. While profound personal insights are gained, it is vital for users to set themselves up for success after the treatment. “Ibogaine will take care of 49 percent of what you have going on,” Weaver says, “and you’re responsible for the other 51 percent.” Twelve step programs, creative endeavors and overall lifestyle changes are all encouraged.

“It’s not going to make you not an addict anymore,” Sutton says. “It’s going to scramble your brain and reset your head in a way that gives you insight into who you are.

Sutton had struggled with depression and anxiety his entire life, and found that his ibogaine session had alleviated these issues along with his cravings for opiates. After another few days in Mexico, Sutton returned home and began the work of incorporating the lessons ibogaine had taught him. He moved into a new house, cut out unhealthy relationships and focused on his passion for making music.

Four months later, though, his anxiety and depression returned. He found, however, that ibogaine had provided him with new tools to deal with these challenges. “I was able to look back on my experience and saw that my brain operated differently when I was done. I was able to think things through clearer.”

The success rates for ibogaine treatment is still largely unknown, as most of the work is done underground. Weaver says that 70 percent of her patients kick their addictions, and that the overall success rate is 40-50 percent. Comparatively, the success rates for opiate addiction treatment at standard rehab facilities remain low.

Despite its usefulness, Ibogaine is still rare. Weaver believes that on any given night, there are, outside of Africa, 3-5 people in the world doing ibogaine. Still, the small areas of forests in Africa which ibogaine producing trees grow are being harvested at an unsustainable rate. Ibogaine can also be extracted from an African tree called Voacangawhich grows abundantly and is easier to plant.

Sutton’s craving for opiates returned five months after his treatment, and which point he did a second session on his own at home, under the supervision of a family member. Such self-treatment is highly dangerous and not recommended. “I know people who have done it DIY,” Weaver says, “and now they’re dead.”

While Sutton admits that these actions were “horrifying”, they seemed to work. He has been clean for two years and is now in Mexico training to be an ibogaine facilitator.

“The problem that was eating my life up is pretty much gone. Ibogaine was a teacher that told me what needed to be done and to do with the knowledge it gave me what I would.”


15 Empowering Messages From Your Authentic Self.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” ~ George Moore

There is a place inside of you where there is eternal peace, a place where fear does not exist. A place where love feels at home and your inner light is always shining. This beautiful place is where you belong, it’s who you are….

By affirming and acting upon these 15 empowering messages that come  from your true and authentic self, you will remember many of the things you have forgot about yourself and you will start living life in a more beautiful, happier and meaningful way.

1. Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

Life is gift — enjoy it, and please, “Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously.” – Norman Vincent Peale

2. Treasure Your Divinity

Learn to treasure yourself and your Divinity. Be willing to accept yourself completely. Be yourself, be graceful, be kind, be wild, be weird … be true to yourself.

“You surrender to a lot of things which are not worthy of you. I wish you would surrender to your radiance … your integrity … your beautiful human grace.” – Yogi Bhajan

3. Nurture Good Thoughts, Create A Good Life

You create your life with your thoughts. As you think so shall you be.

Think loving thoughts and you will experience a loving life. Use your mind and don’t let it use you. Purify your thoughts and watch your life purify with them.

4. Let Go, Be Happy

Let go of all the pointless drama, all the toxic relationships, thoughts and behaviors that are present in your life. Let go of the heavy weights you have been carrying on your shoulders and decide to travel light. Bring your mind into the present moment. Create your life from a place of infinite choices and possibilities – the present moment, and no longer from a place of fear and limitations – the past. Shift your focus from the bad on to the good and watch your life transform.

5. Give Yourself, and Others, the Gift of Forgiveness

Forgive, release and let go of any negativity, hate and resentment that is currently poisoning your life. Allow peace and tranquility to govern your heart.  Forgive those who have harmed you, not because they deserve it, but because you do, and forgive yourself for holding on to poisonous thoughts and depriving yourself of all the love and happiness you truly deserve.

“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

6. Build Bridges Instead of Walls

No matter how much you’ve been hurt in the past and no matter how much more you will be hurt in the future, don’t let fear convince you that you should close the door to your heart. You need love to feel alive. By depriving others of your love and affection, you are depriving yourself of the many beautiful things that come from love.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi

7. Appreciate Both the Good and the Bad

Learn to love and appreciate both your failures and successes; the happy experiences but also the unhappy ones. Look for the lesson in everything and by doing so no experience will ever be wasted. They all contribute to your growth and expansion.

8. In Friendship, Choose Quality Over Quantity

Build your friendships on a healthy and strong foundation. It’s always better to choose quality over quantity. It’s wiser to have a few real friends than many untrue ones.

9. Be Kind to All Living Creatures

Treat all living creatures with love, kindness and compassion. Keep in mind that this isn’t just our home, is theirs as well.

“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” – Immanuel Kant

10. Be Good to Your Body

Your body is your temple and the way you feel internally will reflect externally. Exercise whenever possible, make sure you drink plenty of water- water is life, and eat as healthy as possible. Treat your body in the exact same way you want your body to treat you and stay away from toxic addictions.

11. Live With an Open Heart

Allow love to rule your life. Put all your fears aside and allow love to rule your life. Embrace your authenticity and dare to walk through life with your head up high, always! Don’t settle for anything less than love.  Put all your fears aside and allow love to rule your life. Embrace your authenticity and dare to walk through life with your head up high, always! Don’t settle for anything less than love. Learn to pour love into everything you do. Pour love into your relationships, your work, your life and into yourself. Allow love to rule your life.

“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

12. Give Meaning to Your Life

Do the things you love the most, follow your heart, your passions and your dreams. Ask your true and authentic self to guide you and to help you live your life in a loving and authentic way. Look for meaning, look for purpose and allow yourself to become the unique and authentic being you were born to be. Make the shift from ambition, to ambition with meaning.

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl

13. Love Everything, Be Attached to Nothing

Nothing is yours to keep – not your friends and family, not your lover, not your material possessions, not your youth and vitality, not your struggles (which is great news) or successes, and not even your life. Things, people, experience, they all come and go. Everything changes, nothing remains the same. Love everything but be attached to nothing.

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” ~ Khalil Gibran

14. You Are a Soul; You Have a Body

You are a soul within a body. You are not your body and the body is not you. Your body is your vehicle in this life and it’s meant to help you achieve the things that your soul came here to achieve. But you are not the vehicle, you are the one that drives the vehicle.

“Never tell a child,” said George Macdonald, ‘you have a soul. Teach him, you are a soul; you have a body.’ As we learn to think of things always in this order, that the body is but the temporary clothing of the soul, our views of death and the unbefittingness of customary mourning will approximate to those of Friends of earlier generations.”

15. You are ONE with Everything

At the soul level you are connected to all living things. There is no separation between you and everyone else. You are ONE with it all that is. Look within for guidance and directions. Ask your soul to lead the way and you will become ONE with all that is.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ― Albert Einstein

4 Things to Help You Recover from a Breakup.

Going through a break up can be one of the hardest experiences to get through. While logistically you know (and are told repeatedly by everyone around you) that you’re going to be okay, time heals all wounds and you’re better off without them, it’s hard to truly believe all that while in the midst of it.

If you’re currently experiencing heartbreak you know how awful and suffocating it is. One moment you think you finally have a handle on it, only to be hyperventilating and crying the next. This is normal. There are phases of every break up that you just have to endure. But there are a few essential truths to keep in mind that will help you focus on accepting the situation for what it is and moving past it.

1. You are the cause of your own pain.

“Responsibility is the price of freedom.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

When relationships collapse it’s easy to blame the other person, and while your anger and hurt are definitely justified, the root of our pain comes from within. When you take full responsibility of your emotions, they’re easier to control. If you are in a place of constant agony it is your body’s response to your mind’s resistance to accept the situation.

Take a moment to analyze what is actually hurting about the break up. Are you in pain because you feel you lost the love of your life? Why does that hurt so much? Probably because you feel like you won’t get that kind of love again (which is not true). Are you hurting because you’ve been betrayed? Why does that hurt so much? Probably because you feel disposed and worthless (which you are not). Doing this makes it easier to see the real reasons behind your pain and to better identify how much of your thoughts (often illogical in a time like this) are driving and reinforcing your suffering. When we re-frame our minds to realize we’re in sole control of our emotions, we allow ourselves to take the necessary actions to move on.

2. The only way out is through.

People handle emotional turmoil differently. While some may want to isolate in misery, others choose to avoid and numb it with distractions. To each their own, and whatever gets you through the days, so be it. But the longer and harder you try to resist the pain and hurt of your break up, the more it will persist. Let yourself feel the pain. Let yourself be angry (though never act on it). Know that, until you have come to terms with the many emotions that accompany a failed relationship, you won’t be able to forgive and move on.

3. Life gives you exactly what you need, when you need it.

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

The Law of Attraction, which is the idea that what we put out into the universe comes back to us, can be extremely helpful in understanding the reason for your heartache.

Call it coincidence, call it irony. But what you attract is what you get, both positive and negative. If you have found yourself in a relationship completely dependent on another person, leaning on them for your happiness and expecting their undivided attention and devotion, the universe will throw you a hard lesson: you cannot depend on another person to make you happy. And what we cling to in life will ultimately run.

The heartaches we experience, no matter their cause, change us to some degree. It is up to us whether or not we decide to view them as a lesson to be learned. When you realize the universe is always giving you what you need, when you need it, it becomes easier to see that there is no limit to the amount of people you can fall in love and have a relationship with.

4.  There is no “one” person out there for you.

We’re taught a lot of different things about love, and as a Gen-Ys Disney taught us that love means happily-ever-after, that it’s forever. And although it’s possible, it’s not always the case. Sometimes love is about letting go.

We commit to people because we have faith in a future with them, so when it doesn’t work out we are devastated. We hurt and tell ourselves we’re never going to find someone else that loves us as much again. It’s not true. Life is constantly changing and so are we. Sometimes people come into our lives to teach us something, but aren’t meant to stay.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person that you will ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

There is nothing easy about letting someone you love go. But it becomes significantly more bearable if you are able to view the break up as a universal blessing, not a punishment.

It’s uncomfortable not knowing what’s next. But it can also be really exciting. Perspective is everything. You need to have complete and utter faith that there is more ahead for you. Life is a journey and you will be thrown through a lot of obstacles. But it will be the attitude and persistence you keep that will get you exactly where you need to be.

Why do you think it’s so hard for people to move on after a break-up? Is it maybe because we haven’t yet learned how to be alone with ourselves? You can share your comment by joining the conversation below :)