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5 Quotes From Bill Gates That Will Teach You Valuable Life Lessons

5 Quotes From Bill Gates That Will Teach You Valuable Life Lessons
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Bill Gates has accomplished more wealth and success than anyone of our generation. But even more importantly he has worked tirelessly to improve lives and prevent deaths through his generous charitable contribuitons. I have left out a couple of his more well-known quotes and instead tried to focus on those lesser known quotes. I hope you will find that these resonate with some of your own valuable life lessons you know to be true. Here is a healthy dose of what has made Mr. Gates successful and things we should pay close attention to if we wish to succeed at our own dreams and desires.

1. Focus
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    “The most important work I got a chance to be involved in, no matter what I do, is the personal computer. You know, that’s what I grew up in my teens, my 20s, my 30s, you know, I even knew not to get married until later because I was so obsessed with it. That’s my life’s work.”

    We start life with many big dreams–things we want to accomplish, create, build and experience. But if you ask anyone past the age of 40 what happened to all the dreams they had, they will most likely answer: Life. This is true; life has a tendency to just happen. But it happens because we make choices. The life you create and design for yourself is going to accumulate from the choices you make over time. Sure, there are unexpected things that can derail dreams. But we can control where we put our focus, and if we choose to put one dream ahead of another. Those are all choices we get to make individually. Bill Gates knew that to meet his dreams and see his most important work achieved he would need to take a different route than most people. To do that, he put some other dreams on the back burner. Ask yourself: are the choices I am making today truly supporting the dreams I have for tomorrow?

    2. Feed your mind
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      “I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”

      I especially love this quote because I believe books are filled with pure mystical magic. How do you know the life you want to design and the dreams you want to achieve, unless you are exposed to the vast colorful rainbow of opportunity that this wide world holds? You can read science fiction, poetry, crime, drama, self-help books, love stories, or whatever your heart desires–just read. The imagination that created an entirely new set of possibilities for your mind to explore is magic made for growth. You just don’t know what you will read that will spark a new love or desire in you. Influence comes from some of the most unforeseen obscure encounters and experiences. We can’t all have a life that affords us to travel the world, but we all have at our fingertips the world through words. Reading is the compass to your future.

      3. Discipline
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        “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

        In today’s world we are lulled into a desire for instant gratification, a “show me the results now” kind of mindset. If we don’t see results from our efforts within a very short timeframe, we are apt to bail. Our entertainment, technology, news, social interactions, relationships and education move at warp speed. We have lost all gumption to stick with the process, dig our heels in and just work without lifting our heads. This quote is point on. We are impatient in our expectations and give up far too easily. Mr. Gates is telling us to stick out the hard times in the beginning and, before you know it, your efforts will compound multiple times over with results. But, we can’t give up too soon just because we crave instant gratification in today’s fast click world.

        4. Be yourself
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          “Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself.”

          We waste so much time in envy and desire of what others have. Instead of letting their unique light be appreciated and honored, we pity ourselves and putter about feeling sorry that we don’t have legs to the sky, luxurious thick hair, or huge almond shaped eyes. We see others with prosperous jobs, witty humor, loads of friends, and the list goes on and on. And while we create this meaningless list of what we are not, we are slowing suffering a slow death of what we are. We were each especially designed to fulfill a particular balance at this point in time and place in the universe. We are destined to be here and be exactly what we bring to the world. Quit listening to the voice of fear and envy. Rejoice in other people’s gifts, and in your own without reserve.

          5. Give back
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            “There is a certain responsibility that accrued to me when I got to this unexpected position.”

            Once you have any inkling that your feet feel solid on the ground for even a brief period of time, you have the responsibility to look around you, reach out for someone struggling and throw them out your hand. Someone helped you along your journey. They gave you a pep talk, instilled confidence, gave you wings to soar or an opportunity to fail. Nothing you have achieved of value has been a solo performance. Any time you are able to help anyone else it is your duty to help. And the best part is that every single thing you give out in this world comes back to you ten-fold. Every smile, every kind hand held, every hug, every heartfelt thought for goodness comes back directly to you, multiplied in strength. What we give to others we give to ourselves. What we withhold from others we withhold from ourselves.

            I hope you enjoyed exploring these powerful quotes from Bill Gates, and have some new excitement in designing and generating your own powerful destiny. We all have a footprint to leave here. You get to decide and imprint your own beautiful design on this world.

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            Dawn Hafner

            Dawn is a Practical Life Coach who offers concrete tools to help people implement life changes.

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            Last Updated on July 20, 2021

            How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

            How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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            You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

            Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

            Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

            Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

            1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

            According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

            “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

            Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

            Warming up

            If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

            If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

            Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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            1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
            2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
            3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

            Stay hydrated

            Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

            To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

            Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

            Meditate

            Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

            Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

            Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

            Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

            2. Focus on your goal

            One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

            Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

            Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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            Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

            If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

            3. Convert negativity to positivity

            There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

            ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

            It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

            Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

            Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

            Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

            4. Understand your content

            Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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            However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

            “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

            Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

            Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

            One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

            5. Practice makes perfect

            Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

            In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

            Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

            6. Be authentic

            There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

            Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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            Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

            To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

            With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

            Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

            7. Post speech evaluation

            Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

            Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

            We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

            You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

            Improve your next speech

            As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

            Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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            • How did I do?
            • Are there any areas for improvement?
            • Did I sound or look stressed?
            • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
            • Was I saying “um” too often?
            • How was the flow of the speech?

            Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

            If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

            Reference

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