Entitlement – Good or Bad?

Entitlement is a tricky subject these days, and it’s a word that often comes with negative connotations and pre-conceptions. Should a sense of entitlement be encouraged in children? What is the difference between someone with an attitude of entitlement, and someone without?

On the face of it, I would guess that most of you would associate the nurturing of entitlement in people negatively. We tend to think of entitled people as those who feel, act and live as if the World owes them something – as if they are born into this place automatically entitled to all the privileges life has to offer, without putting in any of the effort required to earn those privileges.

That, however, is a drastic oversimplification of the subject.

You see, entitlement can absolutely be a positive attribute in any person, but it relies on that sense of entitlement being nurtured in the correct way in order for it to be a positive attribute. You see, whereas believing you are entitled to privileges such as material possessions, a certain number of holidays a year or the undivided attention of your peer group with no consideration to earning those things or the effect such a sense of entitlement can have on those around you, it is imperative to success that everyone demonstrates a level of entitlement towards their lives.

If you don’t believe you are entitled to be successful in your career, will you be? If you don’t believe you are entitled to answers when you pose legitimate and thoughtful questions, will you actively seek out the answers your heart desires? Honestly, you probably won’t, and that results in a catastrophic dumbing down of society as a whole.

Too much these days do I see people who are all too willing to just accept the status quo as being the only version of reality available to them, instead of adopting an attitude of entitlement with regards to their intrinsic ability to shape their reality as they see fit. In order to achieve anything in life, we must first move to a space internally where we believe in our own capability, and in our inherent right to live the best life possible. But that takes work.

This is very different to the feeling of entitlement that disposes a person to believe that everything they want in life should be handed to them on a plate, and instead fosters a strong sense of self-belief that provides unwavering motivation and determination which propels us towards the achievement of our dreams and goals.

This is the main difference between the children of poor and middle class people, and wealthy people. Regardless of innate ability, the main determining factor of success in children is what social class they are born into. This may be hard to swallow for a lot of people, but extensive studies have shown this to be more true than most of us would like to believe.

The reason? Entitlement, or, practical intelligence.

One study followed children and parents of different socioeconomic backgrounds in an attempt to ascertain what the main factors were that determined success, and found that although children from poor families were better at being more independent, children from wealthier families were actively taught entitlement – they are encouraged to speak up if they are unhappy, and so develop a powerful ability to shape their environment to suit their needs. Now, there’s nothing to say that this has to be done at the expense of anyone else (as is associated with the word ‘entitlement’ in the usual sense), and in doing so empowers children from wealthier families to speak up and fight for the things they want to achieve in life. This is why these children tend to thrive – they customise their environment to suit their needs, and to set themselves up for success.

Although children from poorer backgrounds tend to be more independent, they often receive less praise and attention, and this is critical in developing a mindset of success. They learn fortitude and mental strength that empowers them to deal with and accept their hardships for what they are, but never empowers them to stand up and expect better. It breeds the ‘it is what it is’ attitude, and this only serves to suffocate and stifle in the long term. As Malcolm Gladwell so eloquently puts it in his book ‘Outliers: The Story of Success‘:

“In today’s World, a sense of entitlement makes you more suited to success than a sense of constraint.”

Where wealthier parents have more resources and time at their disposal to help foster their children’s passions by joining them at multiple after-school clubs, introducing them to new activities and experiences that force them to push the bounds of their perceived limitations, and other such activities such as public speaking and mixing with powerful and influential people which require their children to face their fears and develop a resistance to intimidation, the converse is strikingly different. Children from poorer backgrounds are faced with an environment where their parents are absent due to the hard work and time it’s often necessary for them to put in to make ends meet, and so were too busy to help cultivate the skills in their children afforded to those from wealthier backgrounds.

This observation is supported by Terman’s study of his ‘Termites’ – a group of children who were identified as intellectual ‘outliers’ at an early age, and who were observed as they developed into maturity. Terman’s final observations of this group of supposedly ‘gifted’ children are revealing indeed – although all of the children in the group were identified as gifted, their intellectual capacity was not the defining factor of success.

Indeed, Terman and others believed that having identified the a group of children with outstanding intellectual abilities, the expectation was that they would all, for the most part, excel in being high achievers – however, this was not the case. In fact, the results across the group of ‘Termites’ was mixed. So what was the determining factor? Class.

Even across a group of intellectually gifted children, it was found that those who came from wealthier backgrounds were much more likely to be successful in their lives and achieve great things, whereas those from poorer backgrounds achieved somewhat mediocre results, with some ending up in the clutches of addiction and squaller. It seems the defining factor was the way their parents showed up in their lives, and where the children from wealthier backgrounds had the resources and encouragement to develop a mindset of success, the children from poorer backgrounds were lacking in such qualities of mind despite being more independent.

As controversial as this conclusion may be, it’s hard to argue with the results of the various studies examining the subject. It’s something we should all take very seriously if we have our children’s best interests at heart, as I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all want the best for our kids, and we want them to have the level of success in their lives that they deserve – and every child deserves to be successful.

Really, it’s all down to mindset, and as parents and teachers we play such a profoundly important role in the development of our children’s thought processes. I honestly believe that 80% of everything is psychology, and only 20% the mechanics, and this holds true on the subject of success as it does in all walks of life.

The environment we build and perpetuate for our children has a massive effect on how they think about themselves and their World, and it’s potently important that we take such studies with more than just a pinch of salt. There is quite obviously a great divide between those who end up successful in life, and those who do not, and the only way we can hope to bridge that gap is by looking honestly at the facts, making a concerted effort to understand the things that make the difference in our lives, and the lives of our children.

In conclusion, it isn’t as easy as adopting the mindset that entitlement is a negative quality, and there’s a strong argument for fostering entitlement in our children – but in the right ways. Teach them to question authority, but balance that with a lust for learning through an inquisitive mind and a deep level of respect for their fellow human beings. Teach them to speak up when they are not happy with something, but balance that with an understanding that life isn’t always fair, and the trials and tribulations we face throughout our lives are a necessary and important part of the path to success in anything we do.

In understanding the social and environmental constraints we put on ourselves and those around us, we can provide the best of both Worlds for ourselves and our children – the strength and independence demonstrated by those from poorer backgrounds, and the success mindset able to stand up to their fears and challenge the status quo that ultimately allows us to evolve and grow as a race. Both are so important, and helping our children to develop with both in balance is one of the most valuable gifts we can give them as teachers, mentors and leaders.

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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!