Pushing Your Limits and Why You Should Get Uncomfortable

January 15th, 2015

If you’re reading this then you probably live in a first world country. You probably have heat, running water, and most of the comforts that accompany living in a developed nation.

I recently finished reading a book called Unbroken. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it tells the unbelievable true story of a World War II solider whose plane was shot down deep over the Pacific. I won’t spoil the story, but let’s just say this solider – who also happens to be a former Olympian – went through the unimaginable during his plight for survival.

Reading through this story I keep thinking about how comfortable my life is. I have a roof over my head and don’t yearn for much. Life’s been good.

I’m reminded of just how important it is to push our comfort zone. It’s so easy to get sucked into our comfortable lives without every really pushing the boundaries of our potential. Because it’s when we push our boundaries and get uncomfortable that transformational growth can occur.

So, what this got to do with your business, career, personal life, etc? The short answer: everything.

If we don’t make a conscious effort to push our limits and expand our comfort zone we loose our sharpness. We get dull. And when we get dull it impacts our lives in numerous ways.

Frankly, we can’t afford you to get dull. We need you. We need you to contribute, lead, push, invent, and create.

So what can you do?

Here’s an idea, a first step. The next time you get the feeling that you could be doing more – go with it, don’t run from it. Take the one next step to examine how you can push the envelope. You don’t need an outline or game plan. You just need to take the small next step.

Go get uncomfortable. The rewards are always worth the short-term loss of comfort. Remember: everything is uncomfortable the first time you do it.

Your friend,

Dennis P.

Got other ideas on how to push past your mental limits? Drop a comment below and share it with other readers.

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3 Words That Could Change Your Life

September 6th, 2013

3 Words That Could Change Your LifeExperts in the science of motivation and performance will tell you that one of the keys to getting what you want in life is mindset. Science has proven that if you can simply change your state of mind that you can instantaneously improve stamina, energy, creativity – and a number of other benefits.

Tell me something I don’t already know

Ok – so you probably knew that. It’s no big secret that having a positive mindset will help you be more productive and get better results.

But if you’re anything like me you probably run into hurdles every so often that kick you off track. It’s one thing to maintain a strong mindset when the going’s good – when you’re not talking to an angry customer, when you hit every green light on the way to work, and your kids woke on-time and didn’t complain about the cold toast. Yep – it’s easy to keep a powerful state of mind when things go off without a hitch.

But what if you hit a bump?

We hit snags everyday. It’s pretty rare that when we’re gliding along in a state of flow that we’ll stay there for long. So what happens when we come across an unexpected problem?

If you curl up and keel over at the slightest sniff of a problem life’s going to be tough. If your initial reaction is to feel frustrated and annoyed when some unexpected challenge comes your way, you may feel disempowered and less confident in your actions; both of which wreak havoc on our ability to perform at a high level.

How you respond to the unexpected will dictate your success in everything you do. This is why it’s so important to keep a powerful mindset. If how you react to life’s problems and challenges directly impacts how much success you’ll have, why not do everything in your power to maintain a mindset that manufactures it?

3 Words That Could Can Your Life

Here’s a simple way to shake-up your state of mind. You won’t have to do much. In fact, all you’ll need to do is ask yourself one simple question:

How can I?

That’s it, nothing more than that.

Here’s why this little question is so potent. You see, our brains are problem-solving machines. You give your brain a problem, it’ll immediately jump into problem solving mode. And you physically can’t stop it from doing this.

For instance, what’s 10 minus 3?

If you know basic arithmetic you physically won’t be able to think of anything but the number 7. When I asked you this question your brain shifted into automatic problem-solving mode.

The same principle applies to other, more complex questions. If someone asks you a question that you don’t have an answer for, your brain will still go to work. Again, it can’t help itself – it’s just how we’re hard wired.

And that’s where the power lies

If you can ask yourself this simple question – how can I? –  you’ll be able to respond to any problem thrown your direction. No matter how big or small. Even if you can’t answer the question or solve the problem on your own, your brain will help you find the resources you need.

Asking yourself this question will put you back into a more empowered, confident state of mind. And remember, when you have a more empowered mindset, you’ll be more energetic, creative, and productive.

WARNING!

If you don’t ask yourself this question, and instead focus on why you can’t do something, your brain will search for all the reasons why you can’t. It’s a 2-way street, and is certainly something you’ll need to keep in mind. Your brain can just as easily find all the reasons you can’t do something. Don’t let this happen!

Wrapping it up

Give it shot. The next time you’re confronted with a challenging problem and you find your mindset shifting off track, ask yourself “how can I”? Instead of feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, you’ll feel empowered, motivated, and more confident just knowing that you can take action on any problem or question.

And it could, quite simply, change your life.

Your friend, 

Dennis Paresa

Got other massive change ideas? Drop a comment below and share it with other readers.

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How To Achieve Massive Results

February 10th, 2013

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Today’s post is for those of you who hate being average. If you hate being average, and despise average results. Read on.

For the average haters

I was recently introduced to the writing of sales guru Grant Cardone. Although extremely successful, most of you aren’t going to be familiar with Grant. He’s not a John Grisham, and he hasn’t sold millions of books. But his philosophy on achieving massive results is one of a kind. And his no-nonsense approach to dishing out his thoughts on achievement might leave you both pumped and pissed-off at the same time.

Enter one of Grant’s recent books, the aptly titled: The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success And Failure. This is easily one of the most provoking, game-changing books I’ve ever read.

What the 10X Rule is and why you should read this

The 10X Rule is a mindset – and it’s a powerful one. At its core, the 10X Rule states that unless you take massive action toward achieving your goals, you’ll never reach massive success. Extraordinary success is reserved for those who take massive action to attain it. 10X thinking isn’t just reserved for attaining financial success, it applies to work projects, relationships, health, etc. It’s a mindset that affects all facets of our lives.

If you want massive success… take massive action.

Now, this might seem a bit intuitive. You take lots of action, and you’re rewarded with success. The problem is that most of us think we’re taking massive action, when in reality we’re just taking average action.

Average action is the worst kind of action

Grant’s point of view on taking average action is that it’s the most venomous type of action. We convince ourselves (either intentionally or unintentionally) that the action we’re taking is audacious and focused – when in reality most of us spend an average amount of time going after goals that are mediocre. And we sit there and wonder why we’re not hitting our goals or achieving lots of success.

The cure for average-ness: massive action.

Are you still with me? Read on….

How to adopt the 10X mindset – In 5 simple steps

Wanna start thinking and acting 10X? Follow these steps:

1.  Identify what you want. If I asked you what you want in life, would you know? Most people wouldn’t. And for that reason the place to start is right here. Figuring it out shouldn’t take long. Most people have at least a gut-feeling of what they want. Spend 25-minutes brainstorming and I promise you that you’ll uncover at least 80% of what you want.

2.  Make sure that what you want is BIG. One of the core tenants of 10X philosophy is that 99% of us set average goals, and therefore end-up taking only average steps in achieving them. So, let’s say you’re starting a freelance copywriting business – and your goal is to make $2,000 in your first year. Instead of setting your goal at 2,000, put the bar high for yourself and set it at 10 times that ($20,000). That’s 10X thinking in action.

Note: the point here is not that you’re setting big goals for yourself. The point is that, when you set big goals, you force yourself to take massive action to achieve them. And massive, focused, action never steers you wrong. Even if you fail to achieve your goals, you’ll be light-years ahead of where you would’ve been if you just took average action to achieve average goals.

3.  Figure out how you’re going to achieve your 10X goals. Caution: this is where the wheels fall off for most people. For two reasons: (1) Most people hate going through this exercise because they’re too lazy, and (2) Most people significantly underestimate how much effort achieving their goals is going to take.

Fixing #1 is easy – just start doing it. Bodies in motion stay in motion. Hurry, just get going. Fixing #2 will take a little more work. For example, if your goal is to set 10 meetings to pitch your new product or service, calling on 20 potential clients won’t get you there. If you really want 10 meetings, you may need to make as many as 100 calls to make ‘em happen. Take whatever action you think you’ll need to achieve your goals and multiply it by 10.

4.  Take consistent action toward achieving what you want. The key here is to take action everyday. Even if it’s the very last thing you want to do. Just take action. Remember: 10 minutes of focused action is 1000% better than taking no action at all. Move the ball up the field everyday. Just take action.

5. Assess, refine, adapt. Huh? Yeah – assess, refine, adapt. The key here is to make sure you’re staying on track. Are your calls to potential customers to arrange a sales presentation working? Maybe you need to re-think who your potential customers are and start calling them instead. Just because you create an action plan doesn’t mean that those actions will get you what you want! You periodically need to step back and assess to determine if what you’re doing is pushing you in the right direction. If not, refine your plan and adapt your action to fit it.

Wrapping it up

Give this a shot. It’s helped me achieve several breakthroughs and I know it can work for you. Even if you pick just one area of your life to adopt 10X thinking, do it. I know you’re going to be pumped-up with the results!

Don’t be average.

Your friend,

Dennis Paresa

PS – if you haven’t already, be sure to sign-up for my free weekly newsletter. It’s slammed with useful tips on marketing, social media, and other useful business building topics. Click here to sign up!

PPS – to learn more about 10X thinking go check out Grant Cardone’s website. It’s loaded with a ton of provoking info.

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4 Simple Steps To Weight Loss (and improving your health)

September 23rd, 2012

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Torching fat and improving your well-being doesn’t have to be a hard. Most of us are so programmed into thinking that we have to limit our daily food intake down to an apple and a can of tuna to burn calories. But the truth is, that’s really not the truth!

Since most of you reading this are hard working entrepreneurs, I’m going to break this down into simple chunks that you can work into any busy schedule.

Know your magic number

If you’re serious about shedding weight, you need to start by knowing the basics about your body. Specifically, you must know your body’s Basal Metabolic Rate (aka the BMR).

Why is the BMR is so important? Simple. Your BMR is the number of calories your body would consume if you did NOTHING all day. That’s right, if you laid in bed all day long your BMR would be the total amount of calories your body would burn just to keep you alive.

Knowing your BMR can help you identify the number of calories you can consume and still to lose weight.

For example: based on my height, weight, gender, and age, my BMR is 2,085. So, even if I did absolutely nothing all day, my body would still burn over 2,000 calories! Understanding facts like this will help you understand that you don’t have to deprive yourself to shed weight.

Why burning fat is easier than you think

Yes, losing weight can be broken down into 1 formula: Calories in – Calories out = Pounds off (Pounds on). Most of you know this. If you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight. Conversely, if you burn less calories than you consume, you gain weight. Easy.

But here’s the thing: this simple formula is misleading. Why? Because your body is more efficient at burning some “types” of calories than it is at burning others.

Example: your body is more efficient at burning 200 calories of grilled chicken than it is at burning 200 calories of a glazed donut. There’s science to prove this, but for your sake just know that your body can burn some types of calories better than it can others.

Knowing that your body is more efficient at burning some foods over others will help you make smart food choices.

4 Steps To Burning Fat

Here’s a list of 4 steps you can take right now to loose weight. If you follow these steps closely, you’ll burn fat. If you don’t stick closely to these guidelines, you may stump your fat loss results. Of course, consult your physician if you have any concerns. Weight loss should be a healthy activity, not a life threatening one!

The 4 steps to burning fat:

#1 Know your BMR. Yep, we talked about this earlier in the post. You need to know your baseline calorie requirement before you launch any weight loss program. This will help you hone-in on how many calories you need to cut from your current diet to burn fat. There are many BMR calculators available online. Here’s the one I use (it’s easy to calculate): BMR Calculator

#2 Cut the SIMPLE carbohydrates. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to cut ALL the carbs from your diet. The one’s you do need to cut are simple carbs. Here’s the thing: Most people have a hard time distinguishing between simple carbs and complex carbs.  Complex carbs are those found in foods like oatmeal, fruit, and yams. You want to focus on cutting the carbs that your body reacts to like it does to sugar – the ones that wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, which is something you must control to trigger weight loss.

Here’s a really useful rule of thumb to live by: I’ve found that cutting any carbs that are white or could be white (brown rice and wheat bread, as examples) is an easy way to cut simple carbs. Yeah, it’s true, wheat bread and brown rice are better for you than their white counterparts, but cutting these out will absolutely help you shed weight because they’ll help you control your blood sugar levels.

#3 Drink loads of water. This is an easy one, but one that most of us blow. Drinking water has been proven time and time again to help weight loss. Most of us get so caught-up with juice, coffee, and soda that we forget about water. This is a VERY bad move!

Some researchers have concluded that we should drink our body weight in ounces each day (meaning, if you’re 200 lbs., you should drink 200 ounces of water). If drinking your body weight sounds too daunting, shoot for at least 100 ounces a day. Chances are this is more than you currently consume, and if you can reach 100 ounces then you can use it as a springboard into drinking more.

#4 Eat more protein. A general rule of thumb is to consume 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight a day (meaning, if you’re 200 lbs. you should consume at least 200 ounces of protein). Of course, depending upon your fitness goals and lifestyle (active vs. inactive) your protein requirements may fluctuate. Nonetheless, this rule has been around for decades and is good one to follow.

Protein is important because it has a number of health benefits. It rejuvenates cells, builds muscle, and helps speed our metabolism – all critical weight loss factors. Keeping your body pumped with protein is a good way to improve weight loss.

Wrapping it up

Dropping weight and maintaining a healthy body doesn’t have to suck! Sure, it requires discipline and smart choices. But it doesn’t have to be a grueling, awful experience. In fact, once you start making good food choices, your choices will become habitual – you’ll start eating healthy without even thinking about it.

Note: In addition to keeping a good diet, exercise is also an important factor. If you want to ramp-up your weight loss even more… hit the gym. Working out has tremendous benefits, weight loss being one of them.

Note 2: Be sure to consult with your health professional before launching in to any weight loss program. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your health!

Your friend,

Dennis Paresa

PS – if you haven’t already, be sure to sign-up for my free weekly newsletter. It’s slammed with useful info on marketing, social media, and other useful business building topics. Click here to sign up!

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