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The One Habit That Can Transform Your Life Forever

The One Habit That Can Transform Your Life Forever

Over the last 31 years of my life, I’ve learned a lot of habits.

I’ve studied executives from companies like Cisco, Google, Yahoo, VMware, Box, Optimizely and MTV and read numerous business articles and books ranging from Tony Robbins to Seth Godin. Many of you have searched endlessly for an answer to the question – what can I do on a daily basis that can ensure the right positive mindset?

If I only had to choose one habit that’s made the most dramatic impact on my life, I would choose this one: The 10 years test. This habit has helped me get back on my feet time after time.

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Fight or Flight Mode

Whenever I get thrown into a tough situation, my initial reaction is feel negative. I’ll get angry, upset, worried, panicked, frustrated or (insert any other negative emotion you can think of here).

Sound familiar?

My guess is that 80% of the people in the world have this exact same reaction. The reason?

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In the early (and primitive) days of mankind, humans were conditioned to be in a “fight or flight” mode. After all, it was critical for humans to trust their emotions and instinct to survive. Nowadays, we use rational thought a lot more to assess perceived threats, but our emotional response can still be very similar.

For example: when you run into a tough situation, do you notice you have an actual physiological response to a perceived threat? I know I do. My shoulders tense up. My breathing becomes less regular. My eyebrows furrow. My smile turns into a frown. This why humans are so quick to react negatively in rough situations. We panic. We stress. We worry.

It’s only natural.

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Problems Solved

When I flunked my economics class in college, I was devastated. I thought I would never land my dream job. I was wrong. I studied harder than ever the next quarter. I even went to office hours with the professor. I aced the class. I bounced back. I got 6 job offers shortly, including offers from Cisco and Google. Today I have my dream job as the VP of Partnerships at an incredible company.

When I broke up with the first person I had ever fallen in love with, I was worried that I could never live a life as fun and awesome as the one I had with her. I was wrong. I bounced back. I got into the best shape of my life (I’ve run 406 miles in 65 days), have traveled to places I only dreamed about going to (like Spain, Croatia and Portugal) and am more excited about life than ever before. Next up? Traveling to Hawaii, Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo. I can’t wait for the next adventure. It’s time for a new chapter in life.

When I got a letter in the mail threatening a lawsuit, I was stressed out like never before. Seriously, I could feel my heart drop into my stomach and trust me, that’s a terrible feeling. I remembered lying in bed worrying about the future. I thought it was a huge disaster. I was wrong. I bounced back. I called an attorney and took care of it in less than 2 weeks. Problem solved.

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So how did I deal with these situations?

The Secret Habit

Here’s the secret habit:

It’s called the “10 years test.” All you have to do is ask these 3 simple questions:

  1. Will this matter in 10 days?
  2. Will this matter in 10 months?
  3. Will this matter in 10 years?

Every time I do this, I find that the answer to the last question is almost always “no.” And that changes everything.

Give it a try. It could change your life. It changed mine.

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

Take a minute and think about some of the most successful people you know.

I’d bet they’re great with people, are super-productive, and think differently than most. After all, that’s how they got to be where they are today.

Jealous of them? You don’t have to be.

You can learn these same skills by studying some of the best business and success books that can help you take your game to the next level. Here’re 10 of my favorites:

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

    Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book that helped to launch a personal growth empire should be required reading for everyone who wants to learn how to build and nurture relationships for a lifetime.

    Read this book and you’ll learn some simple advice than can help you build popularity points within your current network and just as important, expand it to others.

    Get the book here!

    2. Focal Point by Brian Tracy

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      Got a lot on your to-do list? Of course you do. But what separates productive people from others is their ability to focus on a singular task at a time, and getting it done before moving on to the next one.

      Sounds simple in theory, but this can be extremely difficult in practice. In Focal Point Brian Tracy offers tips to help build discipline and organization into your day so you can get more stuff done.

      Get the book here!

      3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

        Creating a “me-too” product can be easy at the start but can doom you to business failure. That’s why marketing maverick Seth Godin recommends creating a product that is truly different from anything already available in the marketplace.

        In essence by making the product different you’ll be building the marketing into the actual product development…which just makes your actual marketing a helluva lot easier.

        Get the book here!

        4. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

          If you’ve struggled with procrastination or small thinking, this is the book for you. In it Schwartz offers practical advice that can help you get inspired and motivated to create a bigger life for yourself. And with it can be a more lucrative and rewarding career.

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          Get the book here!

          5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel

            It can be difficult for lots of people to keep things in perspective, especially when working on high priority and urgent projects at work.

            Man’s Search for Meaning can be a life-changing book in the sense that it can open your eyes to a first-hand experience of one of the greatest atrocities in the history of mankind, while also teaching a valuable lesson about having purpose.

            Get the book here!

            6. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

              Solo-entrepreneurs can learn a ton from the guy who made lifestyle design popular. But guess what? The 4HWW isn’t just for guys and girls who want to start a small online business.

              Smart moves like outsourcing, following the 80/20 rule, and automating processes should be made by entry-level workers and established executives alike.

              Get the book here!

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              7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

                I remember sitting on a couch and opening this book on a Saturday morning, thinking I’d get through a chapter and then get on with my day. Instead, about 12 hours later, I was finished with the book. The concepts in it were mind-blowing to me.

                To think that thoughts can create your reality sounded a little far-fetched at first. But after going through the book and understanding that your thoughts create your beliefs, which lead to actions, which then lead to habits….well you can get where I’m going with this.

                If you focus your thoughts on success, achieving it will be much more likely than thinking about obstacles, failures and everything else that can get in your way.

                Get the book here!

                8. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

                  If you’re going to read one management book in your life, this should be it. It’s simple. You can read it in an afternoon. And the advice works.

                  Get the book here!

                  9. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

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                    Before you create any sort of business you’ll want to give Lean Start-Up a read through. Doing so can save you money, time and other resources you could have potentially wasted otherwise.

                    Get the book here!

                    10. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar

                      The story Randy Komisar shares in the Monk and the Riddle offers advice about not just about how you need to think when starting a new business, but also about how to build a life you’re passionate about.

                      Understanding the technical aspects of launching a start-up is great, but if you don’t have the staying power to stick with it when the going gets tough then it’s not likely to work.

                      This book can help you understand this lesson before you spend blood, sweat and tears on a project that you’re heart isn’t into.

                      Get the book here!

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