Understanding The Stock Market & Trading

The Stock Market and financial trading is probably one of the most misunderstood mechanisms on the planet. Anyone you ask will have an opinion about it, but very few actually understand what it is or how it all works.

This is a real shame, because the stock market and the various trading instruments that exist today have lowered the barrier of entry to this field monumentally in recent years, and the stock market is now accessible to pretty much everyone.

There are lots of misconceptions about the stock market, and the people who use it as a trading tool, and so it’s important that we understand the basics to be able to dispel the myths and sort the good advice from the bullshit.

So, what is the stock market?

Well, the stock market is basically a place where people trade emotions. I say that, because although the nuts and bolts of the stock market are the stocks, commodities and currency markets on one side, and the myriad of investors, retail traders and financial institutions on the other, the values of those stocks are largely based upon people’s collective emotions at any given moment. This is what you’re seeing when you seeing price action moving on the candle charts; it’s a visual representation of the mean average of the presiding emotional sentiment in the market at any given time.

So the components of the stock market are simply:

  1. Company Stocks/Shares (Apple, Facebook, Google etc.)
  2. Commodities (Gold, Silver, Platinum, Oil etc.)
  3. Currencies (FOREX – Foreign Exchange)
  4. Indices (these are collections of companies and so their value is the mean average of the value of all the companies within the index – an example would be the FTSE100, which is comprised of 100 of the top blue chip companies in the UK at any given point in time)
  5. ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds – these are funds that are a marketable security tracking an index, a commodity, bonds or a basket of assets like an index fund)
  6. Investors (companies and individuals of various sophistications buying and selling stocks and shares on the market)
  7. Financial Institutions (banks, funds, brokers, and traders buying and selling on the stock market)
  8. Retail Traders (everyone else trading stocks and shares on the market)

Looks a little complicated doesn’t it? Well, it’s really not.

In order to simplify, look at it this way – it is the same as buying and selling food at a street market where prices fluctuate over time, only in the stock market this happens at a much faster rate.

For those who take the time and make the effort to understand the mechanics of it, there is the potential for rich rewards where every day your money works for you, rather than you working for money. Financial freedom is attainable for each and every one of us, all we have to do is take the time, and make the effort, to learn the rules of the game.

It doesn’t matter if the stock market is in the middle of a strong bullish rally, or a crashing bearish descent – when you know the rules, you can make money either way.

Ever since I started learning about trading the stock market and investing I was confused as to why more people didn’t know about it, and why more people weren’t doing it. It seems to me like this is something that they should be teaching our kids in school, as it stands to return significantly more handsomely than any bank on your pot of savings – if you know what you’re doing.

And it’s really not that hard; the rules are simple – it’s having the discipline to stick to them rigidly that is the challenge for most.

I should tell you now that 90% of people who try to learn how to trade end up failing and wiping out their accounts, and this is somewhat responsible for why it has a bad name. I cannot stress enough that there is no such things as a risky trade or a risky investment – only risky traders and risky investors. Those people who don’t have the education, the cohesive plan or the experience in the markets to have the first clue about what their doing, and who are basically gambling their money on the stock market. This is why 90% of traders fail – it’s a lack of knowledge and understanding of the rules of the game.

Trading Instruments

There are various different instruments that are available to retail traders these days, all with slightly different mechanisms but all based around the same set of skills. If you can trade the stock market, then your skills should be transferable across spread betting, trading CFD’s and investing in physical stocks and shares.

The main different instruments are:

  1. CFD’s (Contracts for Difference) – these pretty much do what they say on the tin, and is the main instrument I am trading at the moment due to the versatility of the social trading platforms available. When you trade on platforms that operate on a contract for difference basis you do not own any of the underlying asset, and so do not benefit from any dividend payments. All you are doing when you open a position is taking out a contract with your chosen broker agreeing that if the price of the asset increases or decreases from a fixed entry price then either you pay your broker a set amount per pip of price movement (if the price moves against direction of your position – up or down), or your broker pays you. When you close the position, you close the contract and either ending up taking profits (if you guessed the direction of the market correctly) or closing out for a loss if you guessed incorrectly. One of the big advantages to trading instruments likes CFD’s and Spread Betting is that you can use leverage to increase your asset holding without needing to invest or tie up the total value of the asset invested. However, be warned, whereas this drastically increases your ability to make significant profits, it also drastically increases the likelihood of having a catastrophic loss that wipes out your account – proper risk management should be observed at all times when trading
  2. Spread Betting – this works in exactly the same way as CFD’s, and you’re trading the same stocks and commodities on the same charts, only the profits you make trading through this instrument are completely tax free. This is because it’s called Spread ‘Betting’ and so because it’s classed as ‘gambling’, any profits are not currently subject to UK tax. This makes it an excellent instrument for generating a residual or passive income. Both Spread Betting and CFD trading allows for very easy entry and exit from trades, powerful leverage if used correctly and guaranteed stop losses and take profits for protecting your trading equity. They both also allow for you to enter positions to profit when the markets are both falling (bearish) and rising (bullish), by either going short (selling) or long (buying)
  3. Investing in actual Stocks and Shares – this is where you actually own the underlying asset, whether that’s a share in a company or some sort of ETF. This process is subject to higher broker fees when buying and selling, and so is better suited for longer term swing trades or long term investments. This method only allows you to profit when the asset increases in value or through the repeat dividend payments – if you own shares in companies that pay dividends then you will generate a regular passive income that can be used to reinvest in more shares and add to the compounding of your wealth. The more shares you own, the more dividend you get paid, and so the compounded growth is never ending and grow like a snowball rolling down the Alps

Fundamental or Technical?

There are two different techniques when it comes to trading – fundamental analysis, and technical analysis.

Fundamental Analysis is where you look at the financial and economic data for a given asset and make your trading and investment decisions based on the results of what you find in that data. This could be company financial reports, earnings reports, or economic data such as inflation rates or political announcements. This would be the best method for discerning quality assets for long term investments, as it’s important to be able to have confidence in an investment over time by confirming that the asset in which you’re investing your hard earned money is financially sound.

Technical Analysis is where you look at the price action data on the charts. There are several different types of charts and many different methods of technical analysis, but you only need to master a few to be a successful trader – even mastering one method will return profitable results if you stick to the trading plan without deviation. This looks at historical price data on charts relating to different time frames from 1 minute up to weeks and months of price data per candle, and provides insightful information about likely areas, or zones, where the markets are likely to react from and change direction. This is where technical analysis provides numerous trading opportunities – in recognising patterns, and in understanding how the mechanics of the markets are structured.

Ultimately, you’ll probably end up favouring one over the other and this will govern how you build and execute your trading plan.

Trading Psychology

“Success is 20% mechanics, 80% psychology”

– Tony Robbins

Trading psychology is without a doubt the hardest part of trading to master. Never mind all the charts, terminology and financial data – mastering your mind, your discipline and your emotions trumps them all.

The effect a losing trade can have on our psychology can be profound, and for most is what leads to emotional trading that generates massive losses and even wipes out people’s entire trading accounts. Emotional trading is a big NO, and this is the single most important reason for having and using a detailed trading plan. Having a written plan that details exactly what your methods are, and specifies your researched and back tested criteria for entering and exiting trade positions, will remove the need to make any decisions when you have money on the line. It’s when you have money riding on an open position that your primal croc brain starts to fuck with you and allowing this to take over your thinking when trading is the beginning of the end for most traders.

You have to learn to be your own trading coach and mentor – or go out and find someone who can fulfil that role for you. The best resource I’ve come across so far that really helped me gain control of my psychology when trading and which has helped me to remove all emotional trading from my trades was the following book by Brett N. Steenbarger:

This book gave me all the tools I needed to understand the inner workings of my own psychology when it came to trading, and indeed gave me skills which transferred over into others areas of my life such as sport and business. A really excellent book, and highly recommend – in fact, it’s a must if you’re thinking of embarking on the journey of learning to become a financial trader. Without it, the risk of your emotions taking control and devastating your trading account is all too real.

The stock market, by it’s very nature, goes up and down in cycles. As I hope I’ve shown in this short blog, there are the vehicles available today that allow everyone with access to a computer, smart phone or tablet and an internet connection to trade on the financial markets. Most platforms come with free virtual trading accounts that allow you to trade the markets in the first instance with fake money. This provides the opportunity for gaining valuable experience in the stock market, watching and learning how it moves, and means you can try out new techniques, systems or adjustments to your trading plan without putting any of your hard earned capital at risk. Once you see that you are consistently generating profits over a period of several months, you can then begin trading with real equity with some degree of confidence that you know what you’re doing and have a trading system that is profitable when followed with discipline.

Everyone has the ability to be financially free by taking the time to learn this skill, and doing so is going to not only put your future in your hands, but also has the potential to return significantly on capital invested – more so than any bank or other financial institution is going to give you that’s for sure.

From Beginner to Trader

I will be running a ‘From Beginner to Trader’ course around the Oswestry/Welshpool area very soon for anyone who is interested in learning about how to trade the stock market using the instruments I’ve described in this blog. The course will take a complete beginner who knows nothing about the stock market and trading through learning the skills needed to become a profitable trader. Course material will be provided in a live training environment, and you will come away from the training session with:

  1. A solid understanding of the mechanics of how the stock market and it’s various instruments work and move
  2. A solid understand of both fundamental and technical analysis, and strategies for utilising both methods in your trading
  3. A tool box full of tried and tested technical indicators for providing high probability entry and exit points for your trades
  4. A trading plan for intra-day trading on the 5-minute time frame
  5. A trading plan for swing-day trading on the higher time frames (4 hour, daily, weekly)
  6. A trading plan for pattern trading according to price action and technical indicators, as well as a thorough understanding of what key support and resistance levels are and how to define them on your charts
  7. How to buy and sell assets tax free – both through leveraged instruments and through physical stocks and shares
  8. A road map for finding quality shares for longer term investment
  9. An understanding of the emerging crypto-currency markets and how to maximise trading profits trading these alternative currencies
  10. A risk management strategy that will stop you blowing your account and that will keep your trading equity protected by minimising your losses and maximising your profits
  11. An understanding of the importance of psychology in trading, and techniques for mastering your emotions when engaged in live trades

Financial freedom is the ultimate goal – to every day have the choice of what you do, where you do it, and who you do it with. No constraints, no limits, no worries.

The beautiful thing about that? That the more people there are in the World who have that level of freedom and choice in their lives, the more people there will be in the World who have the desire and capability to help everyone else up to that level.

I’d love to see you on my ‘From Beginner to Trader’ trading course as I know it will change the way you think about money, and it has the potential to change your life if you implement the lessons you will learn in the course. Please register your interest by completing the contact form below, and I’ll send you an e-mail with all the details including how to register:

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Financial Wealth: What, How & Why

On the back of Tony Robbins releasing his latest book Unshakeable: Your Guide to Financial Freedom, I want to talk a bit about how my philosophy on financial wealth has evolved over the last couple of years and my current view on why building personal wealth is so important.

We’re all aware (or at least should be) that there are many definitions of what wealth means to a person. There are many extremely wealthy people in the World who have very limited resources – for example, people who are blessed with the unwavering love of a family and support network yet barely scrape enough money together to pay the household bills each month. These people are emotionally wealthy, whilst being financially poor.

Accepting this, today’s focus is going to be around describing what financial wealth is, how it is generated and why it is important to build personal wealth in the first place.

First, some background.

Over the last 10 years I have managed to do a complete 360 on what money and financial wealth means to me, and how I leverage it in my life. When I was in my early 20’s I was playing in a rock band and living for the many and varied social experiences that provided for me. I was also hanging around with people who called themselves socialists, and who generally had a very dim view on money and the effect it has on people – in their eyes, and mine at the time, money was the source of all evil.

My view today couldn’t be more different and I wrote a full post describing my current view on money explaining how it is one of the most ingenious systems we have devised, with it having the power to harness the resources and will of an entire global species – it is the ultimate tool for progress and provides and incredible amount of leverage to get things done. What let’s it down is the people behind it – not the system itself. You can read more of my thoughts on the subject HERE.

Money often gets a bad name because of the unethical and dishonest intentions driving it. After all, it’s like any other tool – if it’s put in the wrong hands it can be extremely destructive. With a system or tool that possesses the insane amount of leverage that money commands, the downside has the potential to be as powerful as the upside. This is why, as we all know, it is so important to ensure the powerful systems we design are used correctly, and with the best of intentions. A bullet in a gun can either be used to kill food to feed your starving family, or it can be used to murder them – same tool, same level power/consequence, completely different outcome as a result of the different intentions driving it.

I hope you can see how ridiculous it is to blame money – or any other tool for that matter – for our short comings. It’s about time we take responsibility for ourselves, so we can harness the full potential power of the systems we’ve designed to effect massive evolution on our planet before it’s too late.

So, what is financial wealth?

Simply put, healthy financial wealth is when you stop working for money and start making your money work for you. Most of us are stuck in jobs that leave us feeling overworked, under-appreciated and under-paid. We have locked ourselves into this limiting pattern where we have convinced ourselves that our only options for increasing our personal wealth is to work harder, more often and for longer. Is it any wonder most people just accept their situation for what it is and make do? It doesn’t make sense to do more of what you hate to realise a relatively insignificant rise in personal income whilst in turn leaving you with less free personal time to enjoy the additional income. Besides, even earning hundreds of thousands per year through employed income would mean paying significant sums of money over to the tax man and you would still have to put most of that away to be able to have any hope of saving enough for retirement.

Financial wealth is a change in mindset from exchanging your time for money, to making your money generate income you can live off so you can focus your time and energy on leading a fulfilling life. The key to financial wealth is working less, not more!

Remember what ‘job’ stands for – ‘Just Over Broke’

Now I’m not saying you should go out and quit your job tomorrow, and neither am I suggesting that this path is any easier to walk than the job route, but the journey is rich with fulfilling experiences and can be extremely rewarding when you know what the rules are and how to play the game. For most people who don’t have rich parents or a nest egg of savings they can call on, a job will be necessary to fund the first few years of the wealth building process but it should only be seen as one of the many stepping stones to the attainment of financial freedom and as such, only temporary.

How can the average person achieve financial wealth?

Financial wealth, and ultimately freedom, is something that is an inalienable human right and that can be achieved by anyone in the western world who makes the effort to take the steps required of them. This involves learning the rules of the game, increasing your financial literacy and intelligence, and putting what you’ve learned into action.

Remember, knowledge is only potential power – real power is in putting that knowledge into action in your life.

In the beginning, I recommend reading a lot of books, watching a lot of on-line content and talking to knowledgable people who are already executing their plan to realise their own financial freedom (or even better, those who have already got there). I didn’t say it would be easy, and I certainly didn’t say it wasn’t going to take hard work and dedication – suck it up; if you want the life you’re dreaming of then you’re going to have to damn well work for it. This, and this reason alone, is why most people will never achieve financial freedom – they are lazy, comfortable and apathetic. These are the people who focus on wealth for the wrong reasons and who have no purpose behind their actions, as we shall discuss in more detail in the ‘why’ section that follows.

Building wealth starts with saving some money; remember, money is a tool with the power of leverage and as you will see, utilising as much leverage as your personal risk/reward plan allows is key to expediting the process of wealth building. The best way to save money is to open a separate account where it can be stored safely without getting mixed up with your personal family finances. It really doesn’t matter how much you save per week or month, just that you save something. Everyone can save something – even if that’s 50p a week in a jar on your bedroom windowsill. If you never start – even with saving relatively small amounts – you’re guaranteed to fail. By starting with even the smallest contribution to your fund, you are growing your financial freedom fund every day/week/month/year and as it starts to grow in value, so does the power of leverage you are able to command.

Once you have a pot of money – whether it’s a few hundred or a few thousand – you need to start thinking about shifting your focus on how you can start making that pot of money generate income for you. There are many ways to do this, and my top five are listed below:

  1. Investing in the stock market – Tony Robbins recommends a well balanced portfolio of index funds to keep fees and costs to a minimum and to achieve market based returns
  2. Investing in commodities like Gold and Silver – commodities like gold and silver should be, in my opinion, part of any sensible investors portfolio for the simple reason that as the stock market goes down, commodity prices rise and vice versa providing a level of security against such bearish markets
  3. Investing in property for capital gains – there are two property investment strategies, and this is one of them; it should be noted that there is no guarantee that property prices will continue to rise, though overall they do tend to follow a similar sort of pattern to the stock market – although it does regularly crash, the floor it hits is usually higher than the floor it hit during the previous bearish period and it usually returns to strength hitting new all time highs. This being the case, and as with stock market holdings, investors should be prepared to hold their investment interests for long periods in order to realise the best returns. Be warned though that profits from gains will be subject to CGT and this should be accounted for when calculating your potential returns
  4. Investment in property for cash flow – this is my preferred property investment strategy and is not concerned with repaying the principal loan of a given property resulting in an increased cash flow from rent due to utilising the leverage of interest only mortgage repayments. The amount of leverage it is possible to utilise in these types of property investments can be insane when structured correctly, and can be a very lucrative source of increased personal cash flow. Buy to let mortgages are assessed on the ability of the property in question to generate roughly 1.25x the monthly mortgage repayment, and so in theory there is no limit to how many properties you can structure under this arrangement within reason and assuming you manage your portfolio effectively. A small portfolio of 10 or so rental properties realising a couple of hundred pounds in additional cashflow each month is going to get you to a point whereby your living expenses are covered by your passive income relatively quickly and is not subject to the same volatility as the stock market or ‘flipping’ properties – in fact, in difficult financial times, rental demand tends to increase and so rental property investments are extremely good at weathering the storm of a financial crisis… so long as the bank doesn’t pull the rug out from underneath you
  5. Start a business – this one by far is going to take the most amount of time and effort and so should not be considered lightly. On average 400,000 businesses are incorporated each year in the UK alone, and of these 20% will no longer be around after 1 year. 50% will have failed within the first 3 years. Again, the reason behind this shocking level of failure is that the people starting these businesses often don’t do what is required to really set themselves up for success. They don’t embark on the journey of learning the new skills required to set themselves up for success, and thus the pitfalls of business eventually catch them out along the way and force the closure of their baby. Owning your own business can be an excellent investment if you put the effort into it, as you are investing in something in which you have a legal insiders view that you have significant control over – there is no such thing as a risky investment, just risky uneducated investors. Whether you build your business to provide regular income, to solve a need (such as a property management business to manage your investment property portfolio) or to eventually sell for billions it can be a fantastic way to build long term wealth

Anyone can incorporate their own business, save a few quid a week towards their wealth building fund and invest their money in accessible ways that will begin the process of making their money work for them rather than the other way around. All it takes is the desire for something better, and the willingness to learn.

But, why?

Ah, the million dollar question.

I’m sure most of you are expecting the following answer at this point; you should focus on building personal wealth so you can be comfortable in life, provide for your family, have a life rich with experiences of all shapes and sizes and not have to waste your time going to work every day for a boss you despise.

Well, yes but that answer only focuses on the effect increased personal financial wealth will have on you and your immediate family. Although these are excellent reasons which should not be discounted, and that I’m sure highly motivating, I have a much better one.

We all have an obligation to build personal financial wealth to the point where we all have financial freedom not because of what that freedom means for us but because of what that freedom means for what we are then able to give back to the World around us.

Money is a tool which provides a powerful leverage over the World we live in. We have a duty to ensure that there are more good people wielding that kind of leverage than bad people in the World, and that we use the leverage we hold power over to consciously go out and make a difference in people’s lives. I have met so many millionaires over the last few months and there are two things that consistently amaze me – how much of a difference they are personally making to the underprivileged and under resourced people in the World, and how little we hear about it in the media.

If it bleeds, it leads. Rich people building schools and wells in Africa who bypass the system of charity organisations because they want to make sure 100% of their money goes to the cause as opposed to being swallowed up by the operating costs of some not-for-profit doesn’t sell newspapers or hook people into news shows. It’s a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless. These people are not interested in fame or fortune – they are interested in, and solely focused on using their power of leverage to change the World for the better.

This is why YOU have a duty to become financially free and to build your own personal wealth. The Governments of the World are part of the problem, on average only 8-10% of the money you donate to charity actually makes it’s way to the front line, and most people are too lazy and comfortable in their sheltered existence to give a shit. If you truly want to see a better World then you have an obligation to get up off your arse and start being the change you want to see – if you want to see a World filled with people who are financially free, living their dreams and furthering the evolution of the human species, then step up – change starts at home. Lead by example, show others the limits they’ve previously imposed on themselves are a choice, and light the way by using the leverage you empower yourself with to help build a World where everyone is afforded a basic standard of living.

If that’s not something worth building wealth for, then I don’t know what is. The personal benefits are just a pleasant side effect.

Thank you for reading, and I hope my words have helped you think about wealth and money in a slightly different way. This can be a particularly emotive topic for some people, and I would like to encourage active discussion in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and if this has changed how you think about money in your life I’d love to hear how.

If you would like to discuss any of the subjects in today’s post in more depth, or discuss strategies you can implement in your life to set yourself up for success, please feel free to drop me an e-mail at littlegreyjk@gmail.com – I am in the process of launching a coaching service around business, health and personal development and would love to hear from you.

Have a fantastic day!

What is Money?

Money comes in many different forms; whether it be printed paper in the form of a fiat currency or 1’s and 0’s in a computer system. Then we have materials which posses intrinsic value, such as commodities in the form of gold, silver and platinum – these things have value because of their relative scarcity and ornamental beauty.

“In finance, intrinsic value refers to the value of a company, stock, currency or product determined through fundamental analysis without reference to its market value. It is also frequently called fundamental value”

Money is also used for many different things, from purchasing your morning coffee on the commute to work to acting as a tool of exchange on the black markets. As can be seen from my example, money can be used for bad and for good in equal measures. That fact, however, does not make money intrinsically good or bad in itself. Money is just a tool; a medium through which exterior forces act.

Ultimately, money is nothing more than a conceptual system – an idea – a perception of value relating to some element of physical matter (be that paper in the form of pound notes, or solid gold bars). Intrinsically, a ten pound note is worth nothing more than the paper (or more recently plastic) it is printed on – it’s the idea, or perceived value behind it that gives it the value that individuals, societies and countries are willing to exchange upon.

For example, printed money (otherwise known as IOU’s or fiat currency) used to be based on the gold standard. This meant that it’s value was backed by a quantity of gold held by the issuer of the printed money, to the same value as that of the printed money in circulation at any given time. Prior to that, our currencies were in the form of coins forged from precious metals that had a high perceived intrinsic value. We exchanged that actually material we considered to have intrinsic value, rather than a promissory note. The Bank Charter Act of 1844 marked the establishment of the gold standard in the UK, but our currencies are no longer backed by the equivalent value in precious metal holdings and so they are no longer backed by the gold standard. Instead, the value of a country’s currency is now based on the perceived value of it’s economy, which in turn is based on the overall financial performance of the country and it’s components as a whole. This is partly why currency exchange rates can be so volatile in times of uncertainty, or economic downturn.

Essentially, the point I’m trying to make is that money is nothing more than an idea or concept created within a human mind, with a physical system built around it. Thus, the concept is open to interpretation as a result of the differing perceptions and different viewpoints from which different people approach the concept. The result is the potential for increased dynamic leverage, with multiple approaches to deliver results in your favour – so long as you know the rules of engagement, and you understand what it is you are dealing with.

I used to be one of those people who thought that money was the scourge of the Earth; the most vile and evil instrument man ever created. The more educated I have become on what money truly is, and the potential is has as a tool to be leveraged, the more I have realised my prior assessment to be incorrect. It’s very easy to blame others or outside factors for our faults, or for things that don’t go our way in life, but ultimately we can only solve the problems and challenges we face in life when we look within. What about myself can I improve upon to help improve this situation? How can I change my outlook or my actions to produce a more positive result? These are excellent questions, and ones we are all guilty of not asking ourselves often enough.

Money is a tool; it gives us leverage, and the potential to move mountains, and that is very exciting for us as a race. Allow me to reframe; we have found a way to leverage the entirety of the human race towards a focused outcome.

“Money talks, bullshit walks”

When you see it for what it is, or rather what it has the potential to achieve, the concept of money actually becomes very exciting. Money is how we trade, it is a system we have built for ourselves that is recognised and leveraged Worldwide. Every person known to the global grid relies upon money in one form or another as a trading commodity to exchange various different goods and services. It’s the focus of direction we are lacking – we already have the perfect infrastructure to effect huge positive changes in the World, all we need is the collective focus of our species as a whole. This has never before been more possible than today – we are more connected now than we have ever been in recorded history, and we have information, quite literally, at our fingertips. We are the Gods of our time, commanding an understanding of the laws of our Universe and relative control of our immediate environment to an extent not previously realised. As our knowledge increases exponentially with time, so does our potential as a species.

Reality check.

The problem with money is how misunderstood it is, and how we misguidedly try to blame it for the wrong doing of the person doing wrong with it when it is not eligible as something to be blamed. It is inanimate. It is what we made it to be; for this we must surely take full responsibility! The simple fact is, we are misusing the system we created – we must strive to use it more wisely. There is a very good reason why most of the wealth in the World belongs to less than 0.1% of the global population; the variance in the level of financial literacy between people. You see, it’s not that the World is set up in favour of the rich, so much that the rich know the rules of the game, and therefore play it impeccably well. Think about it; if you’d never heard of Monopoly before, and then attempted to play against a seasoned pro, I’d lay money on you not faring very well and eventually suffering substantial losses to the more experienced player. In a lot of ways, games such as these serve to teach very important lessons about life, and how the World works. Unfortunately, our children don’t learn anything about financial literacy in school past how to add, divide and subtract (I’m of course exaggerating, but I hope you get my point – I would have been much better off learning about interest rates, investment portfolios and how to manage my household finances than learning pythagorus theorem which I have never used since!) and and thrust out into the World to ‘figure it out for themselves’. Hardly the best way to set our younger generations of leaders up for success.

Money is a powerful to leverage to get results in your life, whatever your goals may be. It is imperative that you strive to increase your financial IQ in order to better understand how you can leverage money to your advantage (and believe me, the ways are many), and how the economic and financial systems of the World work. You have unlimited access to all this information via your smartphone or iPad, so ignorance is no longer an excuse – it’s a choice. If you’re pissed off about so few people having so much of the money, whilst you’re left with pittance then get up off your arse and do something about it; learning the rules of the game is a great place to start.

These tricks of the trade, tax benefits and loopholes are available to everyone for the most part – the problem is that most people either don’t even know they exist, or have no idea how to find out, or don’t even think it’s possible for them to benefit from them. All you need to do is learn the rules of the game, because that’s all this is – from life, to your job, your social experiences and financial systems – it’s all just a game.

Learn to play the game – in a time when we are so connected, with limitless information at our fingertips, there is no excuse to not know the rules. The potential for greatness lies within all of us, and our level of success in life is determined by how much we strive to learn and improve daily and by how much action we take in our lives. Take action now!

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly coloured, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defences each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”

– Bill Hicks

 

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

“The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile”

-Plato

Well, what a year 2016 has turned out to be.

For me, as I’m sure is also true for the reader, it has been a year of fantastic highs, and some difficult, but valuable, learning experiences. I turned 30 years old, won a World Championship Tae Kwon Do title, became double British Tae Kwon Do Champion, had my second child and doubled the turnover of my family’s business (to name a few). I have undertaken, and completed, my education to become a fully qualified Personal Trainer, and I am getting ready to grade for my black belt in April 2017 having completed an impressive run of completing all of my coloured belt gradings with A* passes – something I worked hard to achieve, and a goal I set for myself 3 and a half years ago. I know better today who I am and what my purpose is than I ever have, and walking through the door to 2017 I am more excited about what my future holds for me than I have ever been.

I have set and achieved so many goals for myself this year, that I have proven to myself beyond any shadow of a doubt that I can achieve and excel at literally anything I chose to put my mind to, and direct my focus towards. This is a truly empowering feeling! The best part? That I am nothing special. The only difference between me and the next person is that I decided on and stated my goals and proceeded to take massive action to achieve them. I became obsessed with success in every field I applied myself to, knowing that if I did I would use the failures along the way as my stepping stones to success. The process of deciding what it is you want in life, and then going out into the World and putting all of your energy into taking the action needed to realise those desires is all you need to get to where you need to be.

There will be naysayers; ignore those people – they are usually always people who’ve achieved nothing in their lives and want to bring you down to their pit of sorrow for some company. You do not want to hang around those people too long, and you do not want to reduce your level of thinking by way of believing there to be limits to your potential, and to your ability to achieve your fullest potential. There are so many people in the World who have come from the worst circumstances, the most abhorrent situations, having been treated in the most despicable ways through the course of their lives, who have realised greatness. They have taken the pain of their past experiences and used it to fuel the fire of passion within them – a fire that when fed and allowed to burn bright, will be sure to light the road to success. These are the people who should be your inspiration in life; and remember, if you can see and recognise greatness in others, then you have greatness in you – you have to be able to see it in others before you can see it in yourself.

My belief, is that 2017 is going to be the best year of my life for the very reasons outlined above. I have achieved a staggering amount this year, and when I actually sat and wrote all of my achievements down from the last year, I was left speechless with the list the sat before me. I strongly urge that the reader take some time, before thinking of goals or ‘resolutions’ for the coming year, to sit and write out everything achieved in the past year. The process and the end result is both empowering and exhilarating, resulting in a dopamine dump of immense proportions helping you to shift to your most resourceful state. It is this state you must strive to be in when you sit to plan your life for any period that follows. As Tony Robbins says, every reason for a failure is a lack of resourcefulness NOT a lack of resources – if you’re resourceful, you’ll get any resource you need in life.

Grab a pen, a note pad and begin immediately; you’ll need it for your goal setting and resolution writing afterwards anyway.

So, now that’s done – time to plan the year ahead.

Now, this should really be done before the New Year so that time is available for the implementation of any preparation that may be required to get off to a flying start. In business, I like to start planning for the following years strategy around 3 months before the end of the current year. This gives plenty of time for brainstorming, calcifying ideas and preparation for the flying start. Pick a lead in time that works for you in your life and try to plan it into your schedule to ensure you stick to your commitment.

I wrote an extensive blog post on the subject of goal setting and accountability, and if you think you might find it helpful you can read that in full HERE.

In the good spirit of practicing what I preach, I will now list some of my key goals for 2017 below to allow the reader to hold me accountable to my stated goals. Remember, think without limitation when goal setting and strategising – any imposed limits will have been created in your mind and are only real because you made them so. Limits have a bad habit of suffocating creativity, and in planning something as important as the next year of our lives we need our creative juices to be flowing unrestricted and in abundance.

My Key Goals for 2017:

  1. Earn my Black Belt in the Martial Art of Tae Kwon Do in April 2017
  2. Achieve the ‘Best in Grading’ Award for my Black Belt grading
  3. Write and publish my first book by the end of June 2017
  4. Write and publish my second book by the end of December 2017
  5. Build a long term investment portfolio
  6. Learn, develop and prove a system for trading FOREX, Indexes and Commodities that is consistently profitable
  7. Engage in constant and never ending improvement in all aspects of my life
  8. Achieve my business and entrepreneurial goals and targets within the time limits I have set for myself
  9. Conduct a speaking tour of schools and colleges in the UK to speak to the young people of today about what tools they need to succeed in life that they aren’t necessarily being taught at school, and how to play the game of life. My aim in this endeavour is to give back to my communities and do everything in my power to add value to the lives of as many people as possible – the young people of today are the leaders of tomorrow; I want to do my bit to help set them up for success in realising their maximum potential. I will have the presentation prepared by the end of January 2017, and must speak for the first time before the end of March 2017
  10. Win the individual sparring event at the Tae Kwon Do British Championships as a Black Belt
  11. Deliver at least one blog post per week to my readers – to all of you who take the time to read my blog posts, I want to thank you sincerely; it means the world to me, especially hearing how they have inspired you and how they add value for you
  12. Start teaching my son Tae Kwon Do, getting him to the point where he can effectively execute the basic movements by the end of December 2017
  13. Find and buy a beautiful house in the countryside, perfectly situated to best cater for the various geographical commitments we have as a family – move in no later than October 2017
  14. Increase my income by at least 50% by the end of December 2017
  15. Go on holiday out of season to the Black Forest area in Germany with my family (the location stated here is my preference at the time of writing – the actual destination will of course be decided upon based on our preference as a a family unit at the planning and execution stage)
  16. Be grateful every single day for all the beautiful people in my life, and all the precious experiences they bring me daily. I love you all, thank you
  17. Attend and immerse myself in the Unleash the Power Within seminar in April 2017, held by Anthony Robbins (I am so excited about this!)
  18. Develop and grow my personal and professional relationships so they provide more value for both parties
  19. Look after myself; meditate, exercise, eat healthily and breathe
  20. See the lesson in every set back, failure or fuck up – learn from it, and move on
  21. Appreciate the beauty in every second – make time for it, soak it in and live it

What are some of your key goals or resolutions for 2017? I’d love to hear about them in the comments – it can be truly inspirational when a group of people collectively share their big dreams, goals and ideas.

Thank you for joining me in the thoughts for the last few months; I look forward to sharing more with you over the next year. I want to wish each and every one of you health, wealth and happiness for 2017 and beyond, and tell you that I believe in you. Anything you want is yours, all you have to do is go after it with a passion so fierce it’s infectious.

Remember; the sky is NOT the limit – we are limitless because our minds are limitless.

Happy New Year Everyone!

With Passion,

Jamie

National Achievers Congress 2016: London – Day One, Key Learnings

Today’s post comes with a huge amount of added value. It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, with the birth of my second child a week ago today, and the weekend long National Achievers Congress held in London this weekend just past. I was very lucky to have the support of my partner in attending this event, especially so close to the birth of our little boy, so I would like to firstly extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to her for holding the fort with me away.

There were so many amazing speakers at the event, and I don’t think I’ve written so many notes since I was last in school! I have come away from the weekend with tonnes of valuable information on a multitude of different things, and am so inspired to take massive action in several areas of my life as a result of spending the weekend around such beautiful, inspiring and influential people. As the saying goes, if you want billion pound ideas, you need to be hanging around with billionaires – you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with, and this weekend gone really raised the bar for me (and I’m sure everyone else who attended).

So, I’ve decided to take all the notes I’ve made over the course of Saturday and Sunday and concatenate them into two blog posts to share some of that value and inspiration with all of you. There will be one post per day, and I will proceed to break down each into separate sections for each speaker along with their details should you wish to research them further and view more of their work.

Does that sound good? Great. Let’s crack on with disseminating the content!

National Achievers Congress 2016, London – Day 1 (Saturday 22nd October 2016):

Our host for the weekend was Harry Singha, and he was excellent. He made a special effort to keep our energy levels through the roof and to demonstrate that whenever you think you’re doing your best, you can always do a little bit better. The whole weekend was cerebral; the content was delivered to us audibly and visually, and then imprinted in our physiology with massive amounts of energy. Harry used a great acronym to achieve this called REPOH which explains how we create our habits: Repetition – Easy – Pleasure – Often – Habit. He had some excellent movements that he had the whole crowd doing that were hilarious, but drilling it down into our physiology definitely worked a treat! The premise of REPOH is that even those things that at first seem hard or uncomfortable (like the movements he had us all acting out for each letter) become easy and bring us pleasure when we stick to it, rinse and repeat. Repetition makes things Easy, and when things are easy they give us more Pleasure, and when we do those things Often, they become our choice of new Habits. You catch the drift.

The first speaker of the day was…

Sandy Jadeja

Sandy is a financial services market strategist and his knowledge of trends in financial markets is second to none. He has predicted the last four economic downturns, and consistently and accurately predicts market trends with uncanny degrees of foresight. He shared a lot of great information with us on Saturday morning, and if I’m honest, most of it went straight over my head. There were a lot of graphs and financial market terminology that I didn’t really understand as it’s not a market place I’ve ever even looked into, never mind played in. That said, I got the general gist of the message he was delivering and it certainly has inspired me to learn more about the financial markets, how they work, and to see if I can spot and use the trends that exist there to my advantage.

Given the information Sandy shared with us, I am certain that with the right coaching anyone can make money in this market place. There are obvious trends – you just have to know where to look, and what you’re looking at (bullish or bearish anyone?). Despite my ignorance on this topic, I had several takeaways from his presentation:

Luck = Preparation + Opportunity

Overall, the currencies of the world have declined 24% in recent years (I can’t remember the exact timeframe, but it was less than a decade) and this trend continues. He predicts that there’s another recession on the way, and given that he’s predicted the last four, I’m inclined to take him seriously. He stated that for these and other reasons, pension funds are at risk – those of you that have them may want to think about alternative places to put your money for longevity. Despite the downturn he has predicted, he was emphatic that if doesn’t matter whether the markets go up or down – he and his colleagues really don’t care – as there is money to be made either way, so long as you know which way the market is going having seen and followed the patterns and trends, and therefore know when to buy and when to sell.

He advocates developing your own economy, and not getting bogged down with what everyone else is doing – most of them haven’t seen the trends and will not be successful in the long term as a result. He says you should be a mobile trader by using modern day technology (smart phone apps for example), and this will give you the freedom to trade from anywhere in the world. Imagine making money from your tablet or smart phone wherever you are! Sounds pretty good to me. Some tips were to log on at around 9pm UK time, place three simple orders of between £300-500 and to move the stop to break even to minimise risk and protect the downside.

He has predicted that there are huge windows of opportunity between 2015 and 2018 for those who are game enough to take action.

You can watch Sandy on CNBC, where he’s made most of his predictions, and he has loads of great information on YouTube. He is also running a Wealth Strategies Seminar on 17th and 18th December 2016 where attendees can learn more about his insights and strategies. Check him out if you’re interested and want to learn more – this guy knows his shit.

Next up we had…

Andy Harrington

Andy‘s presentation was excellent and highly engaging. He is a public speaker and the founder of the Professional Speakers Academy. He is also an author (check out his number 1 best selling book, Passion into Profit: How to Make Big Money from Who You are and What You Know, and devotes his time to helping entrepreneurs get their message out to more people by honing their stage presence and speaking skills (whether that be physical or on-line). His philosophy is all about positioning yourself so that business comes to you without you having to constantly chase after it; present and teach you target market how to overcome a common problem, and in so doing position yourself as an expert in your field.

He teaches the five core attributes of a recognised expert authority; Impact, Information, Inspire, Influence, and Income. You must serve first, and only then try to sell; you must serve via content that provides answers to the common problems faced by your potential clients. You must also create more than you consume in order to position yourself as an authority in your market place.

The content you deliver must be high quality and educational; when you produce such content, you are viewed less as a salesman and more as a teacher which helps potential clients lower their guard and makes them more open to what you have to say. It adds credibility. He advocates taking a big problem and breaking it down in to lots of smaller, or, sub-problems, and then devising a system that solves one or several of those sub-problems. You should think of the content you deliver as a map for your clients – it should tell them how to get from point A (having a problem they are unable to solve themselves) to point B (the solution). The solution is your ‘system’, and this is something you need to devise that will be the framework for delivering the results your clients want and need.

He also made a very good point; no matter what industry we might play in, or whom our clients are, we are all in the business of change! Whether you sell cars, operate a restaurant or build creative environments you are changing problems into solutions and so really, we’re all in the same business at the base level. I thought this was a really interesting perspective, as I’d never broken it down and thought of it in this way before.

When devising your model, or system, you need to make sure it’s your own to ensure it is an asset to you and your business, but there’s nothing wrong with standing on the shoulders of giants. You can take existing concepts and philosophies and re-work them into an evolved state. After all, everything we’ve ever done as a race has been built upon the work done by those who came before us, but we have all been conditioned to think of this as cheating and wrong through the schooling system! There is nothing wrong with copying someone else’s work, and making it even better than it was. Just make it your own! Make sure your new model is memorable and sticky.

Productising your knowledge is a huge tool for qualifying your clients – write a book, a blog or start a video series on YouTube and then use it to qualify and prime your clients.

My notes on Andy’s presentation close with some public speaking tips.

Make sure your chin is down when delivering your material – a lot of people make the mistake of rising onto their toes and lifting their chin up when presenting and this is a picked up by the audience as a submissive gesture. Also, tonality is very important when delivering; you can and must use your tone in three different ways to tailor it to the different types or areas of content you deliver (these are the warrior, the sage and the lover). Inspire your audience with story telling by using an expert positioning story, and sell and serve one to many to maximise your impact (one to one is too limiting if you want to build you brand and company into something huge).

Andy is a great speaker – I highly recommend you go see him if you get the opportunity, and if you want to become a professional speaker this is the man to teach you how.

“Content tells, stories sell!”

Kevin Green

Kevin is a star of the TV series ‘The Secret Millionaire’, a highly respected wealth coach, real estate expert and investor in gold/silver. He holds a special place in my heart being Welsh, and says he loves nothing more than selling houses to the English for a profit (I sense some Welsh/English rivalry there!). He even brought some of his silver bullion to the conference, and those who signed up for his wealth coaching bagged themselves a solid silver ingot!

Kevin has a few key rules in business:

“We must own and control the asset”

“If we have to work in our business long term then this is not true wealth creation”

“It’s always easier to finance an asset that we already own”

He says that business is all about systems, and I whole heartedly agree. He has set up several businesses, all of which are synergistic with his property business. He has Repossession Rescue which allows him to help people who are in danger of having their possessions (be they homes, cars or anything else) being repossessed due to defaulting on their payments to the lender. This positions him to pick up property at excellent value whilst providing a win-win solution to both the owner and the lender; neither lose out, which is great. He also has a company called Mooving Money which is basically his very own bank, and the only one of it’s kind with such a status in the UK.

“If the pain of where I am is not great enough, I will not change”

Two key takeaways from Kevin’s talk were to never waste a single second of your time, as you will never get it back, and to always be the observer to your life and your business. Don’t be fooled into getting caught up in the day to day dramas the life presents you with, and conversely make every effort to be mindful of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what goal it is that you’re working towards. Mindfulness is so important in every walk of life.

When trading in gold and silver, and indeed in all his business operations, Kevin has another rule – never buy anything that you can’t sell the same day for more money. He also shared some tips with us on the gold/silver market; silver always follows gold in price and trading in gold and silver in Singapore or via Britannia Coins is tax free. He stated that he buys gold/silver 20% cheaper than the market value which gives him an excellent return on investment. Sound good to me!

When trading in gold and silver, it is the gold to silver ration that is most important to pay attention to (that being, how many times does silver divide into gold). As the ratio goes higher, silver is the better buy. As the ratio goes lower, gold is the better buy. The standard ratio is 57:1.

For more on gold and silver trading, check out GoldPrice.org and The Safe House Gold Vault

Kevin also shared with us his five C’s of success, which are as follows:

  • Self Control
  • Calculate
  • Connect with the right people
  • Complete what you start
  • Continue learning

Great advice.

You can also check out Kevin’s book, The Rich Rules: Steps to Wealth & Happiness

Finally, to close the day out was the infamous…

Anthony Robbins

Well, they really did save the best till last. No disrespect to any of the other speakers, but Tony came on a quite literally killed it for 3 hours to close the first day of  the conference. I’ve been a huge fan of Tony’s for almost a year now having had his material and books recommended to me by my own mentor and business coach Gavin Preston. This man’s material has quite literally changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined, and Saturday was my very first time seeing him live and in the flesh. He did not disappoint! The energy in the room was at fever pitch, and the AC was pumping out cold air full blast. This man should need no introduction, but just incase you’ve not heard of him before, I’ll do my best to do him justice.

Tony Robbins is the World’s Number 1 Life & Business Strategist, a best selling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist like no other. He has coached more than 50 million people from over 100 countries to reach their greatest potential including Heads of State, Fortune 500 CEO’s, and Olympic Athletes. He is an honoured business strategist being one of the top 50 business intellectuals in the World, one of the top 200 business gurus (Harvard Business Press), one of the top six business leaders in the World (American Express), a top 100 celebrity (Forbes), and has been featured in Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Forbes, Life, GQ, Vanity Fair, Business Week, Success Magazines, CBS News, NBC News, ABC’s Prime Time Live, Fox News, CNN and many more.

Now, onto his content…

I have consumed so much of Tony’s Books and videos over the last 6-12 months that you might think it hard for me to learn anything new. Bullshit. Watching Tony on YouTube is one thing, his books are full of transformational information, but seeing him do his thing in the flesh (even at the vastly restricted length of 3 hours – his shortest seminars are days..) really was something else altogether. He delivers his content concisely and powerfully, but what really sets him apart is that he drills what he teaches you into the very fibre of your being. He teaches in such a way that the content becomes you, it crawls beneath your skin and is absorbed into your bones. He makes his delivery a powerful psychological AND physiological experience to ensure everyone who attends is influenced to the deepest level possible.

“80% of success is psychology, 20% is mechanics”

The only things that hurt you are the stressful thoughts you start to believe, and everything in life is a reflection of what’s going on inside us. Powerful words, and hard to accept due to their necessity for taking complete ownership of your life, your actions and your reactions. Most people are so content in blaming outside forces for their hardships or upset, when really we have to step up and see that life happens for us rather than to us. There are valuable lessons for us to learn in everything that life throws our way, and the measure of our character is how we react and whether or not we choose to learn from those experiences or whether we allows them to become us. Everything good, bad and ugly in life happens for a reason, and that reason is that we needed it in order for us to grow. Hard to admit and accept, yet so poignantly true.

“Be a business owner, not an operator”

There’s a big difference, and in a lot of ways, this sentiment was echoed by other speakers during the course of the weekend. It is in the same vein as the necessity of working on your business rather than in it. If you work on it, you create value and are invariably looking at the big picture, whereas working in your business… well, you went from having a job, to having a job. Depending on where your business is in it’s evolution, there may be a necessity for both, but the goal should always be to work toward a point at which you are doing more work on your business (owner) than you are doing in your business (operator). Be a leader, and hire who you need operationally to free up your time to be the visionary.

Tony also shared with us the two master skills of life:

  1. The Science of Achievement – learn how to make your vision real
  2. The Art of Fulfilment

Notice that one is referred to as a science, and the other as an art… that is no accident, and I’m sure you can draw the distinction yourself.

“Success leaves clues”

This is so poignant, and is all about Tony’s principal of modelling. Successful people are not successful because they have special genes or super powers; they’re normal human beings like you and I. The difference is that they have done different things that have led them to a different result than most. All we have to do, is to find people who are successful in the area (or areas) that we wish to be successful in, study them – their actions, their history, their values – and model what we find. All they did was something different than most; find out what it is, and do the same things, and you will find yourself on the path to the same level of success.

The 3 Forces of Creation:

  1. Obsession/Focus – this is the power of absolute clarity and commitment; wherever focus goes, energy flows
  2. Massive Action & Effective Execution – keep changing until you find the best strategy (model!), and remember that complexity is the enemy of effective execution. Simplify your strategies as much as possible and be cautious to never over complicate things as can be so tempting sometimes
  3. Grace – the more you acknowledge, the more you have… seek and ye shall find

Emotion is energy in motion!

The only way to feel fulfilled is to grow – we either grow or we die. This is why constant and never ending improvement in all areas of life is so important; in other words, progress equals happiness.

“What is measured, is managed”

Tony advises measuring the critical components of your business as often as possible. If you only measure your KPI’s once a year, you could very easily be blindsided by things you don’t see coming and therefore are incapable of managing effectively. Decide on what the KPI’s (key performance indicators) are for your business and decide upon a schedule of measurement that gives you the opportunity to mitigate risk, deal with potential issues before they become too threatening to your business and manage your teams effectively.

“When you’re green, you grow; when you’re ripe, you rot”

This is a great quote which is just a different way of saying you’re either growing or you’re dying. Think of a muscle; if you want it to grow, you go the gym, hire a personal trainer and lift weights – you work consistently to achieve the desired result, growth. If you then cease your consistent gym visits and stop lifting weights your muscles don’t stay at their toned, strong and visually impressive state – they atrophy, they die. This is why we see elderly people who suffer from muscle wasting when they barely move in their old age. The same is true in business and in life – we must strive to grow both our businesses and who we are as leaders if we are to survive. The moment we take our foot off the gas, we start down the inevitable path of death.

“Trade your expectations for appreciation”

Speaking from personal experience, and being totally honest, this one is hard. That said, he is absolutely right. It’s not that people are inherent arseholes who go out of their way to piss us off – we do it to ourselves. It is simply a case of our expectations not being met for whatever reason, but we are responsible for setting our expectations! I guarantee it’s a lot harder to be upset in a state of sincere appreciation having left your expectations at the door… but it’s not easy.

3 Things That End Suffering:

  1. Appreciate & Enjoy
  2. Learn & Grow
  3. Love, Give & be Grateful

The closing thought is a really powerful one; what if the thing you hate the most is what you need the most? Maybe reality is the best test of what should happen, or what should have happened. It ties in nicely with the philosophy of life happening for you, rather than to you and this is a really powerful question to ask yourself. If you’re going to put so much energy into blaming the person or situation for all the negative aspects, then you’d better damn well make sure you put the same amount of energy into blaming them/it for all the positive things that have come from it too – for example, the lessons you learned that made you a better person, that made you more aware, the resolve it gave you to help others and ensure what happened to you never happens to them. We often get too wrapped up in whining about the negatives, that we pay no thought to the positives; there are always positives. Everything in life is a gift – even pain.

You can learn more about Tony Robbins HERE

Thank you for taking the time to read this thoroughly long post – I hope you’ve found it useful and inspiring. My key learnings from day two are linked HERE. Enjoy!