Want to Become the Best at What You Do? Read this.

It doesn’t matter how good your strategy is, if you’re not skilled at what you do, that strategy won’t take you very far.

As Jason Fried and DHH have said“Many amateur golfers think they need expensive clubs. But it’s the swing that matters, not the club. Give Tiger Woods a set of cheap clubs and he’ll still destroy you.”

When you’re confident about what you do and clear about where you’re going, the right strategy will make itself known. Hence, when your “why” is strong, you’ll figure out “how.”

The how comes from the why. Not the other way around.

If you’re looking for how to be successful, you’re going about it all wrong. You’re doing it for the wrong reasons. And you’ll continuously be left searching for the next patch of land to find gold.

What will be left?

An open field of half-dug holes, three feet from gold.

If you know what you want and why you’re doing it, you’re not worried about the “gold.” Your security is internal. You aren’t worried about the outcomes because you already know they are coming.

For you it’s never actually been about the rewards. It’s only and always been about seeing how far you can go. About achieving the impossible. About never stopping.

Take everything external away and you’re still going to continue with the same intensity you always have. Give you everything — fame, money, whatever else — and it wont derail you.

Here’s how to become the best at what you do:

1. Work On Yourself, Not On Your Job

“Work hard at your job and you can make a living. Work hard on yourself and you can make a fortune.” — Jim Rohn

Your work is a reflection of you. If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, stop looking for better strategies.

Instead, look inside.

Are you currently the person who would attract the level of success you seek? Your outer conditions are a reflection of your inner reality. As James Allen has saidYour circumstances reveal you to yourself.

Where you are right now: that’s you.

If you want something different: improve you.

Most people focus on their craft or their “job.” That’s all well and good. However, you’ll get far more bang-for-your-buck by focusing on yourself.

20% of your energy should be devoted to your work.

80% of your energy should be devoted to rest and self-improvement. This is what fuels your work and makes it better than anyone else’s. Self-improvement is more than books and true rest is renewal.

While others are trying to improve their job, you’re continuously improving yourself, expanding your vision, skills, and abilities. This is akin to Stephen R. Covey’s 7th principle: Sharpen your saw. Most people are trying to chop down their tree — their “job” — with a dull saw.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln

Within a short period of time, you’ll have developed true mastery. Everyone else is trying to hone their “craft.” Don’t work on your job. Work on yourself.

When you do, your work will far exceed what other people are painstakingly producing. Your work will be cleaner, clearer, and more powerful because you’ll be more evolved as a person. Most people you’re “competing” against are an inner mess.

2. Consistently Put Yourself Into Situations Others Can Only Dream Of

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” — English Proverb

Your results aren’t a reflection of your talent. Lots of people have talent. Few people, however, are required to rise to a difficult challenge.

Most people never put themselves in demanding situations — situations that humble and scare you.

You need to put yourself into positions that create immense pressure. The kind of pressure that will either make or break you. This is how you purge out your weakness and small-mindedness. It won’t be pretty. But it will change you. And eventually, you’ll rise up. New. Changed. Better.

You need to be taking on challenges that require you to become so much more than you currently are. You need to put your back against the wall so you have no other choice but to produce.

This is how you evolve.

How do you put yourself into these situations? You initiate. You don’t wait for life to come to you. You don’t wait for the “next” opportunity.

You improve your current situation or “job” by providing actual value. You pitch ideas. You ask questions. You try and fail. You take on roles that require greater responsibility.

“Leadership” is available to everyone. You just need to assume a leadership role. You can do that right now, in whatever situation you’re in. You do this enough, and continuously pitch yourself and your ideas, you’ll create opportunities. You then maximize those opportunities and more will come.

Opportunities are like ideas. The more you use them, rather than let them simmer, the more will come. Most people sit on their ideas far too long and they become stale. Similarly, most people sit on their opportunities too long and they stop coming.

3. Don’t Copy Other People. Make Them Copy You.

“From this point, your strategy is to make everyone else get on your level, you’re not going down to theirs. You’re not competing with anyone else, ever again. They’re going to have to compete with you.” — Tim Grover

If you’re still mimicking the work of other people, good luck.

If you’re trying to replicate the work and results of other people, what does that say about your own inner compass?

What does that say about your motivations?

Are you just trying to find what’s working?

Are you looking for the “how”?

Do you actually know where you’re going?

If you’re following someone else’s tracks, where do you think those tracks will lead you? To your own destination or to theirs?

And even if you’d be happy with their destination, do you really think you could do it better than them? It’s their path. They’re driven by something deep and internal. You can’t get ahead if you’re always a few steps behind. If you’re always reacting rather than creating.

If you don’t know who you are, you’ll always try to be someone else. And thus, you’ll never be the best. Your work will always be a cheap imitation. It will lack the feeling that produced the work or the idea.

4. Stay In Love With The Process

“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” — Norman Schwarzkopf

The process — or the work itself — is all there is. Results come and go. And it’s never been about the results. Success is inevitable.

Success comes easy because it’s the last thing on your mind. You already know it’s going to happen.

The work itself — and becoming better and better at it — is what drives you. It almost doesn’t matter what you’re doing. It’s why you’re doing it that matters.

The “what” can and does take many forms. Don’t over-attach to one role. Whether you’re a leader, writer, athlete, parent, “employee” — the what doesn’t matter. Why you do it and subsequently how you do it is what matters. Hence, how you do anything is how you do everything.

When you are in love with the process, you seek feedback, mentoring, and coaching — even when you’re at the top of your game.

You surround yourself with people who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth. You avoid people who suck-up and only tell you what they think you want to hear. Those aren’t friends. They have an agenda.

Self-transcendence comes from collaborating with others who are driven by a greater and grander vision. When the whole becomes fundamentally different than the sum of its parts. When the work is the reward.

Going beyond anything you’ve ever imagined. Complete openness to the possibilities. Unless you’re continuously improving and working with better people, you’ll never realize this.

When you hone yourself, your work, and you produce — opportunities will come. They won’t help but come. Because you’re a magnet, pulling them in.

5. Never Forget Why You’re Doing This

“So many times it happens too fast

You trade your passion for glory

Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past

You must fight just to keep them alive”

 SurvivorEye of the Tiger

It blows me away how often I see people throw their value-systems out the door in hopes for quick success.

When I see this happen, I already know these people won’t succeed long-term. They clearly don’t have a “why” — or they forgot it. They don’t have an inner compass. Consequently, they don’t really know where they’re headed. It’s a destructive path.

The moment you start compromising, you won’t stop compromising. As innovation expert, Clayton Christensen, has said:

Many of us have convinced ourselves that we are able to break our own personal rules “just this once.” In our minds, we can justify these small choices. None of those things, when they first happen, feels like a life-changing decision. The marginal costs are almost always low. But each of those decisions can roll up into a much bigger picture, turning you into the kind of person you never wanted to be.

This, unfortunately, is more common than not.

It’s so common, in fact, that it’s almost expected. Hence, few people become the best at what they do. They end up becoming something far less.


Becoming the best is about never being satisfied with what you’ve done. It’s about continually improving who you are.

It’s knowing success will come because you know who you are and what you stand for.

It’s about initiating — continually creating situations that force you to become more than you currently are. Purging yourself of all your imperfections. Evolving.

This is your journey. Take it.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/want-become-best-what-you-do-read-benjamin-hardy-2/

Honesty test: lack of integrity is bad for the economy, scientists conclude

An integrity study conducted by Essex University has suggested that an erosion of trust between people can have economic as well as social consequences.

According to the report’s author, Professor Paul Whiteley, an increase in dishonesty is usually accompanied by an economic downturn.

He writes: “Trust is important because it allows individuals to move beyond their own immediate family or communities and engage in co-operative activities with strangers. High level of trust in society help to save on what economists call transaction costs – the price people pay for doing business.

“In a trusting society these costs are likely to be small, since if people give their word that they will do something then generally they can be expected to deliver on that promise. There is no need to draw up elaborate legal contracts to enforce agreements.

“In a non-trusting society, however, things are different and enforcement mechanisms such as formal contracts and courts are required to ensure compliance, and these all make the costs of doing business higher. Clearly, integrity is essential to the building of trust.

“Empirical research suggests that societies in which trust and integrity are strong perform much better on a range of economic and political indicators than societies where they are weak.”

Professor Whiteley also concludes that societies with greater degrees of trust sometimes enjoy better health and education, reduced crime and higher levels of life satisfaction.

He adds: “The corollary of this is that low trust brings pathologies, such as poverty, crime, ill health and unemployment. More recent research shows that trust is equally important in Britain. So a lack of integrity has serious consequences for our society.

“This highlights the need to research integrity and its apparent decline over time. It raises many important issues such as how do people actually define dishonesty? Can individuals genuinely disagree about what honest means in practice? Is honesty all of a piece or is it compartmentalised in people’s lives? –

“In other words can they be honest in one context and dishonest in another?

“How in practice does a lack of integrity influence business, social life and other aspects of society? These and a host of related questions will be subjects for further research in the future.”

Try the “integrity test” as devised by Essex University for yourself. Rate your attitude to each of the following activities with one point if you think it is never justified; two points if you think it is rarely justified; three if you view it as sometimes justified and four if you think it is always justified.

Be honest.

A. Avoiding paying the fare on public transport.

B. Cheating on taxes if you have a chance.

C. Driving faster than the speed limit.

D. Keeping money you found in the street.

E. Lying in your own interests.

F. Not reporting accidental damage you have done to a parked car.

G. Throwing away litter in a public place.

H. Driving under the influence of alcohol.

I. Making up a job application.

J. Buying something you know is stolen.

According to the authors, a score below 10 suggests you are very honest, 11 to 15 means you do not mind bending the rules but are more honest than average, 16 to 20 suggests you are relaxed about the rules and anything more than 21 suggests you do not believe in living by the rules.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9038164/Honesty-test-lack-of-integrity-is-bad-for-the-economy-scientists-conclude.html

11 surprising things that your physical appearance says about you

Everybody judges.

Within a few seconds of seeing someone — whether on a date or at the grocery store — we decide on numerous things about them, from how smart they are to how likely they are to commit a crime.

Surprisingly, our first impressions can be remarkably accurate in some instances. In others, they can be wildly off base.

Here are a few of the things we determine about people based on how they look.

Thanks to a phenomenon that social psychologists call “the halo effect,” we tend to assume that good-looking people possess other positive qualities aside from their looks, such as intelligence and commitment.

Daniel Hamermesh, a University of Texas at Austin psychologist who studies beauty in the workplace, found that, among other things, this cognitive bias means good-looking people tend to get paid more.

Similarly, in a study of male undergrads who were asked to evaluate an essay written by an unnamed female peer, the participants judged the writer and her work more favorably when they were shown a photo of an attractive woman whom they believed to be the writer, as opposed to when they were shown a photo of an unattractive woman or no photo at all.

People can tell a surprising amount about your personality from your portrait.

In a 2009 study, researchers showed participants the photos of 123 undergrads from the University of Texas at Austin in which the undergrads either were told to have a neutral expression or were allowed to pose however they wanted.

No matter which position the people took, the viewers were better than chance at judging the following: how extroverted they were, how high their self-esteem was, how religious they were, how agreeable they were, and how conscientious they were.

In 2013, a group of psychologists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists from Europe and the US had a small group of participants look at portraits of 47 white men and 83 white women and evaluate them first on their height and next on their ability to lead.

The researchers found that people used factors in the photos like gender and face length to make guesses about people’s height and then used these same factors when they judged their leadership qualities. Faces that appeared to belong to taller people were rated as belonging to better leaders.

A small 2013 study by researchers at the Center for Behavior Change at the University College London suggested that men with higher testosterone levels were (not surprisingly) more likely to have wider faces and larger cheekbones. Men with these facial features also tended to have more aggressive or status-driven personalities.

In a 2015 study, scientists showed people photos of 10 different people with five different facial expressions and then asked them to rate how friendly, trustworthy, or strong the photographed person appeared.

Not surprisingly, viewers tended to rank people with a happy expression as more friendly and trustworthy than those with angry expressions. They also tended to rate people with broad faces as stronger.

It’s unclear why some of us appear more trustworthy than others, but this quality may have life-changing consequences. Researchers from Israel and the UK had volunteers look at photos of men and women that had been randomly selected from two photo databases and rate the emotional state, personality traits, and criminal appearance of the people pictured. The first set of photos came from a police mugshot database; the second were controlled photos in which actors had been told to look happy, neutral, or angry.

Regardless of where the photos had come from, people who were rated less trustworthy and more dominant also tended to be seen as criminals. In the controlled photos, angry faces were seen as the most criminal.

For a 2015 study, a pair of University of Toronto psychologists collected photos of real inmates who were, at the time, incarcerated by the Florida Department of Corrections after having been sentenced for first-degree murder. Roughly half were serving life sentences; the other half were awaiting execution.

Then the researchers had a group of participants look at the photos and rate the trustworthiness of the faces pictured on a scale from 1 (not at all trustworthy) to 8 (very trustworthy). Those who were rated as less trustworthy were more likely to be sentenced to death than those who looked more trustworthy.

In the second part of that study, participants looked at photos of people previously convicted of murder but subsequently exonerated, usually on the basis of DNA evidence. In a disturbing twist, people who were rated less trustworthy were still more likely to have been sentenced to death, even though they were later found not guilty. “Facial appearance affects real-world criminal sentencing independently of actual guilt,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

Pruney skin can reveal more than just age — it may also tell us something about how our hearts are doing. A 2012 study compared the number of wrinkles on the faces and upper inner arms of a group of 261 people with long-lived parents to a random group of 253 people the same age. Women with the lowest risk of heart disease were described as looking more than two years younger than their age compared with those with the highest risk of heart disease.

Source” http://www.businessinsider.com/things-your-appearance-says-about-you-2016-7?IR=T/#if-youre-attractive-people-assume-you-have-other-positive-traits-as-well-1

5 Sought-After Careers (That Didn’t Even Exist 10 Years Ago)

The working world has changed. These jobs are driving our economy – but a couple of years ago they weren’t even a thing! Here are the careers that are still in their infancy, but changing the world.

1 Social Media Manager
You can’t manage what doesn’t exist, and 10 years ago, social media didn’t. (How bizarre is that?) Now, almost three-quarters of online adults are on social media in some way or another. The importance of social media has only been recognised in the last couple of years and has brought with it plenty of cool digital careers.

2 Blogger
Though blogs have been around for a while, a few years ago blogging as a profession was pretty much unheard of. It’s extremely difficult to turn your hobby and passion into a lucrative business, but in the past few years some lucky people have successfully managed in a big way. Just look at the Huffington Post!

3 SEO Specialist
Did you know what SEO stood for in 2007? Probably not. Now it’s a term being thrown around no matter what company you work for. An employee who can get a website to the first page of Google’s search results is an invaluable addition to any business.

4 App Designer/Developer
Even though apps rule your life, they weren’t even a thing a couple of years back. (Wait, does MXit count?) Now, apps are basically the reason you own a smartphone. Suddenly, every business wants an app – and designers and developers are more sought-after than ever.

5 Uber Driver
It seems like every second car on the road is an Uber. The company, founded in 2009, has created thousands of job opportunities for people worldwide – just look at South Africa. In fact, it’s become the preferred mode of transport for tons of people living in the city (and it’s only been around for a few  short years!).

Source: http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za/career-money/sought-after-careers-didnt-exist

Here’s How To Deal With Shady Co-Workers in The Office

In a dream world, you get to be the office wifey to at least a handful of people and universally adored by your colleagues. In reality, whilst you may have a few people who have your back when times get tough, or at least a work BFF, you’re bound to butt heads with someone eventually. Nobody can deny it’s awkward when you don’t get along with someone you have to share an office space with for 8 hours a day. How to deal with personality clashes or someone being shady? We’ve got you covered.

1 Don’t be afraid of confrontation

Confrontation is an inevitable part of working, especially with tight deadlines and a high-pressure environment. Don’t completely loose your cool, or you may loose your job, but do be willing to have a constructive conversation with whoever’s trying to stir the pot. Trying to get to the bottom of what’s really going on by having some real talk with a co-worker can help smooth things out. If all else fails, start to consider taking it to management.


2 Try not to jump to conclusions

If you’re in an office spat, it’s easy to let your imagination run wild. Whether you’ve been subject of workplace gossip or you find out your project manager may or may not like you, don’t be hard on yourself. You can’t control people’s perception of you so try not to internalise unconstructive criticism or office pettiness.

3 Don’t get caught in the feels

It sucks that we can’t just scream and/or ball our eyes out in the office when we need to but there’s not a lot of space for showing your full range of emotions. Especially in male-dominated industries where gender roles and stereotypes are still a part of office culture, women have to fight to be taken seriously and it’s shitty that crying is perceived as a weakness. Try to hold it together until you are in a situation or safe space to let it all out.


4 Leave the gossip at home

The petty side of us all just wants to dish on some dirt and call-out the haters making life difficult at work. The thing about gossip is it’s bound to get back to you at some point, one way or another. Gossiping at work is a sure-fire way to make you seem immature and unprofessional, even if your feelings are valid. Everyone has to vent, so confide in a trustworthy friend you don’t work with to listen to your woes and keep it moving.


5 Stay slaying

At the end of the day, you’re working, on your glo up, and making your paper. Be proud of that and remember that not everybody is going to like you and that’s totally okay. Even if someone is being nasty or unnecessary, stay focused on your goals and keep your eye on the prize by being your best self.

Source: http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za/career-money/career/heres-how-to-deal-with-shady-co-workers-in-the-office