AoL 007: Personal Branding: Not Just for Business Owners with Ryan Rhoten

When was the last time you cared about what you looked like? If you’re like most people, probably this morning before you headed off to the office. The image that you give of yourself is highly important. It’s all about first impressions, right?

So you know you should be aware of how you’re making a first impression in the real world. But what does the internet say about you? Have you done a search on yourself recently to see what comes up? If you have, and you didn’t like the results, how can you change that?

That’s where our guest, Ryan Rhoten, comes into play. Not so long ago, Ryan didn’t think about his online persona either. In fact, it wasn’t until he didn’t get a promotion that he wondered what what was going on. Soon, though, he realized that he didn’t look so good on the web. In fact, there were other Ryan Rhotens on the web… one of which that wasn’t too flattering.

Today, he helps others figure out what their stance is on the web. He does that by helping them hone their personal brand. Yeah, that same personal brand that many celebrities and business owners have to be aware of.

If you’ve recently been denied an interview or promotion that you thought was a sure thing, then you should listen to what Ryan has to say. Even if you’re a business owner and you’re not exactly sure you know everything about personal branding, you should definitely check this talk out too. It just might mean the difference between you getting that next job or client.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How Ryan got started as an online Personal Branding Expert.
  • Why he doesn’t consider himself a “entrepreneur” quite yet.
  • Why it’s important that you go to events when building your brand.
  • What’s an expert exactly and how you can find out what you’re an expert in.
  • What are common practices of recruiters of using social media to find talent for an open position.
  • Why Gen Xers naturally struggle when it comes to their online presence.
  • Some common mistakes people make when developing their personal brand.
  • Why it’s important to do things out of your comfort zone on a regular basis.
  • What a Klout score is.
  • …and much more

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Checklist for building your online presence on LinkedIn.

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14-Point Checklist to Dominate Your Personal Brand on Google

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcher, and/or Podbean. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

Breaking out of the Scarcity Mindset By Applying the Law of Abundance

“Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

“Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you first see inside of you.” – Wally Amos

A Few Definitions:

(I’ll meet you on the other side of them.)

Law of Attraction:

States that you attract what you focus your attention on – whether positive or negative. Think of ways that the law of attraction affects your life right now. Do you regularly think of how you fail with the opposite sex? This will result in you continuing to fail.

The same is true of wealth, happiness, success in your career and anything else you focus on.

Your mind has the power to manifest that which you strongly believe. When you focus on something strongly enough, you make it a reality, so our goal is to harness that power to create a better life.

Law of Scarcity:

An economic system cannot produce all goods and services that consumers want, and most consumers do not have the resources to purchase everything they want. Furthermore, choices must be made about how limited resources (time, money, etc.) are used.

Law of Abundance:

A sub-law of the Law of Attraction. It states that there is enough wealth in the world for everyone to have enough money and resources to live fulfilling lives.

First Thing’s First

I want you to know that this particular post might be confusing. In fact, I’m writing the thing and I still find it confusing. However, if there’s anything I want you to get from this post it’s this:

“Whatever the Mind can see and believe, the Mind can achieve.” – Napolean Hill

Of Nature and Man

“The Creator did not intend for us to be scrubs, and certainly that is not the example that he sets for us.. The essence of the Law of Abundance is that we must believe in abundance.” – Sterling W. Sill

When the Founding Fathers made the Declaration of Independence, they wrote Man had certain Rights. Specifically they wrote, “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

Now let me pose a question to you.

Since many of us believe that Natural Laws are how the Creator governs, wouldn’t it make since that what goes for Nature should be good for Man?

I’m not saying that we should go total caveman and not have laws that Man makes up as we go. Instead, I’m simply saying that Nature’s laws are the foundation of how the world works and Man’s laws fill in the gaps from there. We can’t change how Nature works – so why try?

Imperfect Laws of Man

If Nature is so abundant (which it is, take anything that produces fruit for example), why is it that we limit ourselves to a world of scarcity? I believe it’s because we choose not to live by Nature’s laws but instead, by Man made laws. (In fact, we’ve been moving farther and farther away from Natural Laws.)

The problem with doing that is because Man, as we know, is imperfect. And because he’s imperfect, he’s going to make imperfect laws. Most laws that we create will ultimately cause some other problem that we’ll have to create another law for OR we’ll have to get rid of the previous law all together (Prohibition anyone?).

Take the tax code for example. It could have started off simple but as years go by, it has gotten larger and larger. Why? Because tax, in itself, isn’t natural. So we’ve had to fill in ever smaller and smaller gaps.

Another man made law that’s obviously imperfect and that we’re all familiar with is segregation. Whoever thought that separating people because of their skin color was a good idea was just straight out wrong.

Scarcity is one of these laws as well. Does Supply and Demand makes sense? On the surface it might. I mean, as supply goes down, demand goes up. Wait a second. Was it that when demand goes up that supply goes down? That doesn’t seem right either.

Hmmm… well let’s take a look at an example we’re familiar with: gas prices.

A few years ago, gas was hovering at nearly $4 a gallon here in the States. This was because OPEC wanted as much money as they could get. Demand stayed the same, supply fell, thus the price rose. Ok. Makes sense for them to cut the supply from their perspective. However, now at $2.25 a gallon, we’re seeing OPEC produce like there’s no tomorrow. Why is that? Many sources say it’s because no one can agree on a universal price point. Others might say that they want to cripple other countries around the world including Russia, China, Canada, and the US.

Either way, it’s human intervention. Just by definition, it’s imperfect if not downright confusing!

(Actually, I might go out on a limb and say that Scarcity isn’t a law in itself, it’s actually a lack of law or lack of understanding in how the Law of Abundance works.)

Applying the Law of Abundance (or Attraction)

Now that we’ve looked at why Natural Laws are the laws that we should have high interest in following and why Man made laws are just plain ridiculous at times, let’s look at how we can actually APPLY the Law of Attraction in our lives.

For one, I’m not about to tell you that you simply need to focus on what you want in your life. If only it were that simple. I mean, I love Napoleon Hill, but dude, c’mon. Just thinking about something all day is called day dreaming. Besides the focus, you have to act.

So what kind of actions am I talking about?

First, you need to create a Vision Board (or have a REALLY good idea of what you’re looking for). Not sure how to make one? Next, you need to create a plan to get there. After that, you have to do that work. (If you’re just doing work to do work, then you better be following someone else’s plan or you might find yourself going in circles.)

Scenario 1 – The New Graduate: Let’s say you want to start simple at getting a good job out of school. What is it going to take to get you there? Four things: Good grades in college, a good resume and cover letter, and… NETWORKING! You’ve probably heard of all of these at some point and yes you have to do them all, but the one you really need to create a plan for is networking. If you’re desired job is to work for say… Facebook, how are you going to get there? It’s just not going to happen. Who do you need to talk to? Get that Vision Board going (start with a big ol’ picture of Facebook HQ) and then start working back to where you are now. This is going to involve research in who you should talk to and what job fairs you need to go to, but it’s totally doable.

Scenario 2 – Career Transition: Alright, you’ve had your first job and you want to make a larger impact. What next? Wait to be promoted? Leave the company? Start your own business? Join another startup first? There’s different ways you could go here. Let’s say we want to start our own business but we don’t know if we can handle it. Great, let’s join another startup for a couple of years and get some experience. (Hey, it’s what I did!)

Preferably, you shouldn’t join a company that does what you want to do. Otherwise, you might burn some bridges when you leave (if that’s your plan). But just like the first time, let’s get that job with a plan. Another thing you might consider here is if you want to be a full time employee or work as a 1099 contractor. As a full time employee you’ll have benefits, but you’ll have less options to do outside work. As a contractor, you’ll be in charge of ALL your taxes, but you’ll be able to write off expenses. There’s pros and cons in both.

Scenario 3 – Start Your Own Business: Time to start your own business! Some things to consider here: what kind of business is it going to be? How much would you like to be making? Are you looking at a deep foundation (like I am with New Inceptions)? Are there any similar businesses out there that you can model after?

These are all things you’ll need to think about. If there are similar businesses out there, see if you can’t do some research in how they got from point A to point B. If it’s an online business, use the Way Back Machine to see if you can get some clues in how they started. If you’re doing something new or just want a community to help you, you might want to consider joining Fizzle to help you out. If you’re planning on going old school brick and mortar, do some market research first. Is there an interest in your area of what you’re doing? Would it be best if you started elsewhere? Maybe start online first and then go brick and mortar? Lots of choices.

Either plan you go, you need to put in the work. And we’re here for you anytime you need help in figuring out the next step.

Homework:

So which scenario above best describes you? If you don’t think any of them do, let us hear what your particular situation is. Also, feel free to let us know how you’ve used the Law of Abundance (or Attraction) to get ahead in the past or how you’re currently using it!

Top 10 Podcasts You Could Be Listening To (and 5 You Can Start On!)

Inspired by Cam’s video above, I thought I’d share with you all the podcasts that yours truly listens to as well. I mean, one of the things that we want to do in the newly created New Inceptions Masterminder group on Facebook is feature other people’s work. Not only does it build community when you promote others, but it also helps people find things they might not have known about in the past.

One of the things that LTD talked about all the time and that you might have heard is the phrase Leaders are Readers.

And I think that phrase has it’s merit. I believe to be a leader that you constantly have to be learning. When you’re learning, you’re moving forward. Likewise, if you’re not learning, you’re moving backwards.

However I believe that in today’s age many people don’t read as much as they used to. For example, while Facebook is full of text, it’s the videos that tend to go viral – not posts. For me, I’m naturally an audio person. I feel that videos and books must have your full attention to leave an impression. However, with audio (radio, podcasts, books on tape) I feel that you can be doing something (driving, walking, working out) and still be somewhat engaged in the material that you’re listening to.

So audio, I believe, is the one medium that every expert or online business person should be utilizing to build their audience. I’d imagine that podcasters would agree with this.

 

If you’ve never listened to a podcast, it’s never too late to start. Podcasts are generally free and can range in all kinds of topics, as Cam mentioned in the video above. I’ve been aware of them since I first had an iPod (2007’ish) but I believe they’ve been around longer than that. The reason you might not have heard too much about them is because they’ve been in somewhat of a rollercoaster of popularity over the years, but I think this current swing is a fairly large one.

So to help you get started (or maybe to just give you some more options), I’m going to share with you 10 podcasts that I’m currently listening to on a regular basis. And then, I’m going to give you my top 5 that I recommend that you should definitely add to your list whether or not you currently listen to them or are a newbie listener.

I will point out that I don’t expect you to listen to all of these all the time. Unless you commute daily and consider your car to be a mobile university, my recommendation would to pick topics that interest you.

The Top 10 Podcasts I’m Currently Listening To:

Smart Passive Income (Average Run Time [ART]: 45 minutes) – This is the first podcast that I ever started listening to. Over the years, Pat has done remarkably well with it. While I don’t visit his blog as much as I once did and don’t find myself regularly checking out his other material (which includes 2 more podcasts, a regular programmed YouTube channel, and “playing” around on Periscope), I do keep coming back to the original podcast. I think the main reason is his wide scope of guests that he has on the show. While he does manage to get big names on there from time to time (Gary Vee and Tim Ferris to name a couple), I think his real bread and butter is highlighting normal people who have successfully built an online business.

Solopreneur Hour (ART: 1 hour+) – Michael and his show recently came on the radar a couple of months ago when he was interview by Pat. I completely love his style of talking with people very casually. Just in the little bit of time that I’ve been listening, there have been HUGE bombs of wisdom dropped that I’ve used in either mindset or just getting things done. His background is definitely interesting in that he’s had big swings in his success. He’s killed it recently in the MLM world, but before that he moved from one place to another, struggling as he went. Oh and he loves his dog.

Joel Osteen Podcast (ART: 25 minutes)- This particular “podcast” helped me quite a bit when I lost my mom back in 2011. I was going through a transitional time in my life and having her pass just added to all the emotions of leaving college and entering “the real world”. While Joel might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I do think that certain people that are on hard times can be picked up by his inspirational message. Generally Maria and I will listen to this one together. (Also, there’s a video version of it as well as it’s simply the recording of his weekly televised show.)

The Charged Life (ART: 12 minutes) – Not as spiritual as Joel’s podcast, Brendon’s podcast is a quick message that he delivers about certain topics related to getting his listeners out of what he calls the “Caged” and “Comfortable” life. Like Joel’s podcast, there’s a video version of this one too which you can find on YouTube.

The Way I Heard It (ART: 5 – 7 minutes) – As being a fan of Mike Rowe since he started Dirty Jobs, I feel like I’m kind of in the same boat as him. Especially when it comes to how he is amazed by interesting people who do interesting things. This particular podcast was talked about during his interview with Tim Ferriss, and I thought I’d give it a go. Really glad I did! If you liked Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story, then you’ll love this – which is done in the same fashion.

Unmistakable Creative (ART: 55 minutes) – This show originally started out as the Blogcastfm.com show which was geared pretty much towards to what Pat talks about. In fact, Pat had Srinivas, the host, on his show back in 2013. However, around the time that Srini was on Glenn Beck’s show, was when the podcast was changed to it’s current form. At any rate, I’m still a fan of Srini’s and love the guests that he has on here.

The Fizzle Show (ART: 1 hour) – Another podcast and group I heard about from Pat’s podcast. While I love Pat, having three hosts on a podcast sounded very unique to me. While this format works well on the radio, not many people have used it for pure podcasting – at least not with the ones I’m familiar with. It’s because of this show that we decided to go with format that we did for the Angles of Lattitude Podcast. (Also, remember, that you can get your first month of being a Fizzler for free by going through this link here.)

Art of Charm (ART: 15 minutes to 1 hour) – Jordan Harbinger and his pals started the Art of Charm as a coaching service to guys who wanted to be better men. For a long time, that was the focus of the show. However, as soon as I started listening to the show regularly in 2012-2013, they started changing the focus a little more on just finding out how interesting guests became their current successful self. I will say that if you’re anyone who needs to work on your self image or confidence, that this might be a show worth your time to listen to. Guests on the show include upper tier successes.

StarTalk Radio (ART: 50 minutes) – I think this was the 2nd podcast I started listening to. It’s funny, but Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of my favorite popular scientists in today’s pop culture. He was the 1st host of the recent Cosmos (there might be future seasons from what I hear) and he’s also known for his phrase “We have a badass over here”. So it seems fitting that he hosts a show (typically with a comedian co-host) where they talk with guests about pop culture and science.

The School of Greatness (ART: 5 minutes to 1 hour+) – Like many other podcasts that release multiple times a week, the School of Greatness by Lewis Howes has long shows and a short show on Friday. Personally, I picked his podcast up in 2013 when I heard that he had started it. Being familiar with him by him being Pat’s podcast (where else?) and talking about webinars and LinkedIn, I thought he might be interesting to listen to as well. Fast forward a couple of years and I think he’s more known for doing the show now than he was with those previous topics. Types of guests that he has on the show typically are pretty successful, but a lot of the time he tends to mix in some pretty good topic editions (those are normally his short ones).

My Recommended Top 5 Podcasts for the Podcast Newbie

If you’re just getting into podcasts, I wouldn’t recommend subscribing on iTunes to all of these just yet. Honestly, there’s a crap load of information coming from these folks and I don’t want you to get hammered with too much all at once. If you’re finding my list, there’s a good chance you have an interest in improving your career. So, what I’ll do for you is give you the ones I think would help you out the most in that quest. Then later on, you can come back and subscribe to the other ones I listen to for edutainment.

These are in order of how relevant they are based on where you might be in your career. The first three are for anyone while the latter two are geared more towards people who want to be experts in their field.

  1. Art of Charm – Basically just teaches people how to crush it all around – in their jobs, in their relationships, and in life. Jordan is very engaged with his guests which is interesting. You can tell he does his homework. He comes across as a fan of everyone he talks to.
  2. School of Greatness – Like the Art of Charm, however, Lewis lets the guest talk way more which definitely makes it a different show.
  3. The Charged Life – I think more people need to be aware of Brendon and what he offers. Ideally, at New Inceptions, we’re trying to help you move from a Caged or Comfortable life to a Charged Life as well.
  4. Smart Passive Income – I think it’s important that people know that there’s a way that you can make an income on the side using the skills that you already use day in and day out. While Brendon does that for a premium (he can, too – he shows you EVERYTHING you need to do to be a success in expert space) Pat shows you how to do it all for free. He’s also exposed so much of the world to me in general, that I couldn’t not post his show.
  5. Solopreneur Hour – I like his technique. It’s hard to say how much he actually researches his guests, but I think that adds to his style. He and Pat say that they don’t research their guests too much because they want to sound more authentic when finding things out. However, he does seem to know a lot about most of them. I like the conversation effect that this gives his show.

Homework:

I’d love for you to check these out and let us know what you think. If you’re a podcast newbie, take a listen to my recommended top 5 and let us know which one sounds the most interesting to you. What did you like about them? What didn’t you like about them? If you were to make a podcast, what would you focus on? If you’re already a host, please let us know about your podcast below. Be sure to tell us why you started it and what your focus is. Let yourself be heard!

How to Be More Influential By Adding Great Value to Others

“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” – Dr. Ben Carson

“People don’t know how much you know until you show how much you care.” – Dr. John C. Maxwell

Two of my favorite quotes. You know that people will listen if you share knowledge that helps them. Want to go a little further and get some influence? Add some value to their lives. In today’s post, we’ll be talking about how you can be more influential with people by bringing them value.

So what did you learn from that? Hopefully you got the impression that giving value is important in sales. You say you’re not in sales? O contraire! You definitely are!

Did you know that every day people are selling themselves? Whether it’s a salesperson doing a direct sale or an engineer with a proposal for a project, or a mother trying to get her kid to eat vegetables, everyone is selling. Everyone is thinking about how they’re going to influence their audience (the customer, the client, or kid) to buy their product or services, or eat carrots.

One of the largest difference makers in making that sale is whether or not that person has influence on their audience.

As Jeffrey said, he tries to give value first… and that’s what gets you influence.

Which is much different than what a lot of people do today. Instead of looking for the win-win, they’re looking for the “how can I use this person”? The person who is looking for the win-win is looking how to give value. The second type is taking value. The first one is the influencer while the second one, I think, is the persuader… the manipulator.

Giving Value in our Daily Lives

Before we talk about giving value in our professional life, let’s just make sure we get a better idea of what giving value means for sure. Something simple. Nothing drastic.

If you were to give value in something that you’re already doing right now, how would you do that? You might be thinking that you’d have to start thinking and acting differently than you currently do. But would you really? I’m sure there’s things in your life that you’re already doing for others that give them value. For instance, while I’m the guy of the household, and traditionally men supposedly don’t cook, I know that I can bring value by being the person who cooks dinner on a regular basis.

Think about something you might be good at that you could use to benefit those around you. Believe me, it’ll help later.

Giving Value In our Careers

In the professional space, you might think that people are looking to get ahead of each other by beating each other down. By stealing ideas and contacts. It’s total competition out there – even in the same company. People are trying to beat each other for that next position. So you have to take what you can get! When the boss asks you a question, you better respond with a “Yes, sir!” response.

Right?

Wrong.

First off, that’s not a very confident mindset. People will notice that you’re afraid of the workplace if you have that kind of perspective. So let’s try to look at things from another perspective. One of collaboration.

For one, instead of using that quick to respond with definite answers, let’s try to answer questions with questions. Obviously we don’t want to make it obvious. But let’s try to dig deeper for something that will be a better solution instead of something that’s a quick fix. The more you know about a certain subject, the more thorough you can be about about your solution.

A way you can do that, for example, is enter any meeting that you have with 4 questions that you want to get answered:

What are the goals (short and long term)?

Who is the audience?

What is the capabilities of your group and/or department?

How do you measure success?

As you become a person who helps think things out (as opposed to going to the know it all quick fix), people start coming to you for help.

Another way that you can add value to people is being what’s know as The Connector (as Malcolm Gladwell calls them) or the Linchpin (as Seth Godin refers to them).

The idea of this particular person is that they’re a main hub of a certain network of people. They’re the ones who can carry out a conversation with someone from one year to next without ever acting like time has passed. Generally speaking, these people know where they met someone and what they were doing at the time.

If this sounds like you or you want to become one, I recommend reading The Tipping Point and/or Linchpin to find out more.

The third way that you can add value, or even if you’re unsure, is to ask yourself these three questions:

Is what I’m doing or the acts that I’m performing different but also includes ideas that other people from the group have thought about? (You don’t want to come off as being too maverick!)

Is this a great contribution? Is this work something I’ve strived for excellence in? (Don’t half ass your work. Remember the Agreement: Always do Your Best)

Do I really care about what I did? Did I see this in perspective of helping other people? (Again, think about the quote at the beginning of this post.)

 

Homework:

The next time you want to influence your peers, family, or audience, think about how you’re going to add value to them. What is something only you can provide to the group? A perspective? Experiences? Make sure you’re providing that information not because you want to manipulate but because you want to truly help. You’d be surprised what will happen as time goes on.

Developing Life Changing Habits Through 5 Types of Triggers

A Little Background in Habit Formation Theory

There are two books that are pretty interesting reads about habit formation. The first one, the Power of Habit (via Audible), Charles Duhigg talks about The Habit Loop. In this loop, there are three parts to forming and reinforcing habits.

1. The Cue / The Trigger – the event that actually starts the habit

2. The Routine – the actual habit that is performed

3. The Reward – what doing the habit gets the participant

In the the second book, Hooked (via Audible), Nir Eyal takes this loop and adds another piece called:

4.  The Investment – The longer we spend doing a habit that yields favorable rewards, the less likely we are to stop doing that habit.

Each phase of the loop is important in developing new habits. If it wasn’t for a cue, we wouldn’t start the routine. If it wasn’t for the routine, we wouldn’t get the reward. If it wasn’t for the reward, the cue wouldn’t mean as much to us in the future. Therefore, we wouldn’t spend as much time on it. So on, and so forth.

Simple enough, right?

Note: In the video above Brendon talks about the importance of Triggers. The term Trigger is another name for the term Cue. Personally when I think of the word cue I think of a cue ball. When hit by the pool stick, the cue ball starts a series of events that hopefully lands a ball in a pocket during a pool game. Likewise, when I think of the word trigger, I think of a trigger on a firearm that starts the whole chain of events that pushes a bullet out of that firearm. Personally, I use them interchangeably, but we’ll stick with Trigger for the rest of the post.

In this post, we’ll be specifically talking about Trigger use and formation. I believe it’s the most important part of the Habit Loop and probably the one we have the most control on.

Trigger 1: Time

In Brendon’s video, he talks about setting alarms to be triggers. Time is probably the easiest way to start habits. Most of us start our days with alarms that starts a chain of events where we’re getting ready for the day. (Others are luckier where they don’t need an alarm to start their day. They’re triggered by kids, pets, or even the sun. Wouldn’t it be nice?)

How and when to use it: In the video, he talks about setting three alarms on your phone to keep yourself calm throughout the day. This helps someone be more present. For me, I use alarms to remind myself when to keep hydrated. Using time as a trigger is typically used to do something that you need to do a reoccurring daily basis.

Trigger 2: People

When I’m around other people, I have an internal switch that goes off. Most of the time, I’m an introvert. But when I’m around others (especially networking), I go into extrovert mode and start talking to everyone I can. Why? Because both of my strengths involve interacting and adding value to other people: teaching and connecting.

Other people will use others as a trigger as well. If you’ve ever heard of social drinkers, these people use others to tell themselves when to drink. While it might not be the best habit to have, the end result is the same as mine: connecting with people.

The difference of the two habits is that I learned mine from hanging around other successful people. While the social drinkers might have learned their habit from their party days at college.

How and when to Use it: Depending on who you want to connect with, you’ll need to practice a method of connecting. Whether you’re the life of the party, the host, OR the bartender, you can’t afford to be socially awkward. Learn how to be normal (which we’ll discuss at another time) and enjoy others’ company.

 

Trigger 3: Places

Sometimes it can be really hard to get through a kitchen, especially if there’s pie sitting out. Or walk by a pool at the YMCA without wanting to jump right in. Places can be triggers too.

However, among all the triggers, places can be the start of the most mindless habits. This can be good and bad. If you’re an addict and you’re exposed to whatever you’ve been addicted to, it’s much easier to indulge. Likewise, if you’re that same addict and you’re putting yourself in all new situations, it’s much easier to find something else to put your mind on.

Studies by David Neal and Wendy Wood from Duke University suggest that new habits are actually easier to perform in new locations. They say that old locations mean old habits and old routines. If you’re trying to perform a new habit, you’ll have to break the old cycle which can be very difficult. Likewise, new places are like blank slates. There aren’t any pre-existing triggers, therefore it should be easier to start a new habit.

I know for me that I do all my work in an office. Why? Because anywhere else I go I can’t seem to get that same work done. I’ve set the office setting to work and the rest of the house for other things.

How and when to Use it: As mentioned before, locations can equally trigger good and bad habits. First, if you’re trying to do something new, see if you can’t find a new place to do that new thing. Are you working out after several months or years of not regularly? You should probably go to the gym (unless of course you suddenly find all of your furniture replaced by exercise machines). Are you trying to start a business at home? You better not start typing in your comfy chair in the living room. Instead, if you have a spare room/space, go there. If you don’t, go to a nearby coffee shop or restaurant with Wi-Fi.

Trigger 4: Emotions

Many people eat when they’re bored, sad, or even anxious. For most of my life, that was me. Or if you don’t eat, maybe you play video games instead. Either way, these habits are caused by emotions. And as we all know, those who let their emotions dictate to them, don’t live a very happy life.

Emotional habits tend to happen when we’re not present. If you think about the video and Brendon talking about the alarm trigger for a minute, it’s almost a double trigger. First, the alarm triggers you to breathe in a way to make you calmer. As you get calmer, you become more present. If you’re present, you can make better choices. You’re not running on emotions at this point, you’re running on logic. And this new logic can help you build better habits.

How and when to Use it: One thing you can start doing is trying to sense any weird habits you have. Do you bite or pick at your nails? Do you fidget? Then, when you identify them, figure out what caused them. Do they start from you being anxious or bored? Are you still feeling that way? If you are, sense that feeling and then make yourself do something else. Perhaps you can start a few exercises? Or you can take Brendon’s advice and do a breathing technique to calm yourself.

Trigger 5: Notifications and other Events

The last kind of trigger that I know gets the best of me are beeps from my phone and tabs flashing or showing numbers in Chrome because of new messages. If it has a sound notification, I typically got to deal with it. If it’s visual, it gets harder as time goes on. This is the bad side of events being a trigger. However on the other side of the coin, you can build new habits by what’s called Habit Stacking. Habit Stacking is a new term I learned from my mastermind in which you start with one habit. As time goes on, you add another. One such habit stack might be our waking up or going to bed ritual. When it’s time to get up, you typically have a routine that you do. It can be as simple as using the toilet, taking a shower, and then brushing your teeth. Or perhaps you’re one of those who like to start coffee first and then do a few exercises?

How and when to Use it: You should not that the smaller the habit is, the easier it is to put into your life. It’ll probably much easier to eat healthier in the morning than suddenly becoming an early morning runner. However, that said, it really depends on your goals. If you want to feel like you’ve accomplished something by running a mini-marathon, then perhaps the running routine might be better followed by a shake later on in the day.

Picking Your Next Habit Trigger

Regardless of which habit you want to do, you’ll need to make sure that the trigger you choose for that habit is specifically defined and actionable. For me, I like to do certain exercises a day. I typically do them right after I’m done getting my shoes on for the day. I’ll do 35 pushups and then walk the dogs for 20 minutes. After that, I’ll be fresh and alert and ready to get my day started.

Experiences with Triggers?

In the comments below, I’d love to hear how you’ve used triggers in the past for good or bad habits. If you do have some bad habits you’d like to get rid of, what are some ideas that you have to weed them out of your routine?

11 Ways to Be Happier Day to Day

Empaths and Narcissists. Two very different types of people. You could say that they’re extremes. On one hand with the empath, you have a person who feels everything that is going on with themselves and the people around them. Perhaps they feel that they’re “out of this world” or misplaced because they see all the emotion. That they have superhuman powers to read people. To sense vibes. Many times, they absorb all these emotions that are around them feeling weighted down by the burdens of the world.

On the other hand, you have the narcissist. One could say that this is the opposite of the empath. They look at others as instruments to get what they want. Many times, these people have become like this because of some sort of pain they received earlier in their life. Furthermore, the narcissist won’t realize that the world doesn’t work this way. That the world is a two way street. They’ll literally do anything to get where they want to get to in life.

In either case, neither will likely be able to create their own happiness. The empath might think that having their own happiness is too selfish. The narcissist, on the other hand, will think that their unhappiness is everyone else’s fault. So why should they put time into it if no one else will?

That said, I think most of us that have struggled or currently struggle with being happy fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Your Happyness is Yours to Build

Just like many things, Happiness is a journey, not so much a destination. The Founding Fathers knew this when they mentioned it in the Declaration of Independence. If you should remember anything about July 4th this weekend, is that in the United States it is the God Given Right to live life, be free, and strive towards our own happiness – whatever that might be. So as we come to this celebration of what the US stands for, I wanted to break down 10 things that we can do to be more happy.

The reason why I recommend the Four Agreements on a regular basis is because I believe it has led me to be happier myself. The agreements are as follows:

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Don’t Take Anything Personal

Don’t Make Assumptions

Always Do Your Best

In these four, I’ve come up with a list of 11 key everyday practices that can help you gain more happiness daily.

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Stop Complaining

Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems. – Zig Ziglar

Chances are you don’t want to be around some that complains all the time. So why would anyone want to be around you if you do? If you must complain, give yourself 5 minutes to do so. Better yet, instead of complaining about something, instead look for a possible solution? No solution? Focus on the positive and perhaps cut a joke.

Focus on the Positive Things in Life

When you focus on problems, you’ll have more problems. When you focus on the possibilities, you’ll have more opportunities. – Unknown

The more you focus on negative things in your life, the more they’ll come in. It will show up in your work, your relations, and everything else. Instead, shift your attention to the positive perspective. In return, more positive things will come.

Blame yourself, not others

The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life. – Hal Elrod

Every one us is where we are in life due to choices we’ve made in the past. Sure, our circumstances are different, but more often then not, many of us take the easier route which in the long run makes us weaker for the hard stuff in life. Take the challenges as they come in life and you’ll be prepared for when crap really hits the fan.

Don’t Take Anything Personal

Stop Caring About What Others Think of You

If you care about what other people think, you will always be their prisoner. – James Frey

Every great leader, artist, entrepreneur, and/or political leader (George Bush is a painter now… wha!?) ignored what people thought of them at one point or another. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to take off. Instead, if others are tearing you up, realize it’s more than likely because they’re envious OR threatened by you.

Stop Needing to Be Right All the Time

Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. – Confucius

Learn to laugh at yourself. It’s ok to stand up for things you really believe in, but not on every subject. In stead of trying to be right, learn how to see other people’s point of view. When I argue politics on Facebook, I typically do after understanding the other side’s perspective. Start asking more questions to see other’s points of view, it might open a whole new perspective for yourself… one that you incorporate your old perspective and theirs into an ultimate right answer! 😉

Don’t Make Assumptions

Stop Judging

Ask Questions to Clarify

Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are the windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won’t come in. – Alan Alda

This is simple. If you’re interested in being successful, learn to make things clear at the beginning. Yes, it’s impossible not to assume 100% of the time, especially if you’re doing something that has been multiple times before, but make sure you’re always asking questions to clear things up before it gets worse.

Always Do Your Best

Be Present

What is presence? It is a grounding and harmony in this very moment; it is a physical alertness, an emotional acceptance, a spiritual awareness and union with what is in front of us in the here and now; it is a vital consciousness to who we are and what we are sensing; it is a mindfulness to what is meaningful; it is the Way – Brendon Burchard

Brendon talks all the time about his life mission being “Did we live? Did I love? Did I matter?”. So often we find ourselves living in the past in how good things used to be. Or we live in the future in how we want things to be. Live in the present. You’ll never get to the future you want if you don’t appreciate where you are now.

Be Fearless

Being Fearless isn’t being 100% not fearful, it’s being terrified but you jump anyway… – Taylor Swift

Fear is a strong motivator in life. Perhaps possibly the strongest to not be great. Perhaps you’re worried about leaving friends behind. Perhaps you’re worried that you might fail in whatever you’re setting out to do. The hard truth is that at the end of the day or even your life, you’re going to wish that you at least tried to do something vs always dreaming “what if”. Don’t waste the gifts that you’ve been given. Go Do Your Thing.

Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. – Steven Furtick

I know I’m my own worst critic. I know that inside of us there’s a fan and there’s the scrooge. For many of us, we’ve been told our entire lives that we can do anything we want to do… just don’t screw up. Furthermore, school taught us, pass without failing.

What we don’t learn until after school is that we don’t learn in life without failing. Failing is part of life. Once you accept this, then you start relying more on the fan to motivate you. The scrooge will always be there saying, “you don’t deserve to be awesome”. However, as you start gaining success, you’ll listen to the fan more and more. While you might not be perfect, you give value to others.

Stop Worrying About the Small Stuff

Worry is a misuse of the imagination. – Dan Zadra

We worry about everything and anything. Part of limiting what influence the scrooge has is to realize that others aren’t perfect either. Just because someone isn’t replying to your emails, texts, or phone calls doesn’t mean they suddenly don’t like you.

Learn to focus on what you can do in the current moment and not worry so much on what the outcome is going to be.

Your Turn

So below in the comments, let me know what you do to feel happier on a day to day basis. Are there any tricks or tips that you do when you feel yourself getting down? Chime in and share!