Becoming successful out of necessity.

By Donnavan Finlay, Co-Founder of GuydingPrincipals

“Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it”

 

A while back it was mentioned to me that in our darkest hour we could achieve our greatest success. Hearing it at first made me think that it was a bit of a crazy statement. When everything is going wrong, how on earth can you achieve anything even remotely great? We all go through tough times but to my understanding we never really achieve anything from that. So I deemed the whole theory ludicrous.

It was not until later that I truly understood the theory and got to see it in action. I have to admit that it changed my thinking about achieving better results out of desperate times.

Recently I have been active in some projects around South Africa when established entrepreneurs coach and assist up and coming entrepreneurs. In a country where unemployment within the youth and working force (age 15-34 is considered youth) is at 32,8% (Q1, 2018) it is crucial that the public sector has to assist where the Government is failing at an alarming rate. Overall national unemployment is at 27,7% (Q1, 2018). So needless to say that many families are struggling to keep up with the living costs.

I would like to share a story of a young man I met while working with entrepreneurs in impoverished communities. This is a great example of how we can create a better situation for ourselves even from desperate times.

For the sake of the story, lets call him David.

David came to South Africa as a refugee only 6 years ago. He was unemployed with a below par education and no real job skills. Him, like many refugees around the world leave their home countries in search for a better life for them and their families elsewhere.

Like most refugees new in a foreign country, David was not able to speak any of local languages (SA has 11 official languages) and was forced to live on the street and beg for money. Ridiculed by the locals for being a refugee he struggled finding any form of employment that could help him get on his feet and even just a place to stay. Day in and day out was a struggle for him, a struggle many can not even understand.

He saw numerous other refugees turning to a life of crime. Selling illegal drugs and armed robberies. He was struggling so much that he had no choice but to consider doing the same. Being in that position will force anyone to make some drastic decisions.

He told me that he thought about what he was going to do day and night. It completely consumed him. He was starting to think and act on instinct as it was becoming a fight for survival.

He then made a commitment to himself not to go for a life of crime, no matter how bad it got. He told me that he felt that he had survived some terrible condition at home and that he survived the long trip to South Africa. He felt that he needed just a bit of luck to get him out of that situation. Notice how he was becoming positive in the dire conditions he was in.  He started to believe that there was a way out, and a better future ahead.

Eventually he did find a job as a delivery person for a small take out restaurant. He did not need a drivers licence as they were using bicycles. He mentioned that his pay was not really great but at least he could afford a room to stay in and that he was given meals when working. He said that it was like a dream come true considering where he was just a couple of months before.

He kept on working at the same restaurant for some time but he still had that dream of something more. The same dream he had when he arrived to South Africa, his new home.

After a couple of years he was in a better financial situation and mentally and physically a new person. When I met him for the first time he could speak the local language and came across as a professional and disciplined person. I had no idea about his past and what he had to overcome just to be able to be alive and working.

He got involved with the program as he is now part owner of that take out restaurant he worked at. The owners have decided to retire and left the restaurant for the staff that was working there. It is not a complete fairytale ending as he still has a long way to go to live the dream life he is chasing. Owning a business is a big responsibility and can be very challenging. And he admits that this is only the real start for him.

With assistance from the previous owners (as they have great experience with this operation)  the program I am part of is guiding and training the staff on how to best manage the operation and good financial practices. I believe that if he commits his energy to the business as he has to himself there is no other option but success.

The point I would like to get across is to show that we all react differently in tough situations. David could easily have chosen the easy and fastest way out of his troubles by choosing a life of crime. Just like many others did. But he chose the honest and positive way out. He believed in a better future and his situation did improve. Not overnight, but with persistence and hard work he is a lot closer to his dream than he was when he just arrived.

This story reminds me every day about how lucky many of us actually are and that we as humans are very resourceful even in the toughest of times.

We can achieve greatness even through the darkest of times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dealing with Shyness.

“Believe in your Flyness. Conquer your Shyness” – Kanye West

By Donnavan Finlay, Co-Founder of Guyding Principals.

I posted an article about dealing with shyness at networking events and it got some good feedback. I did realize that this is not the only area some people need help with their social anxiety. It is estimated that about 17 million Americans have to deal with social anxiety or a social phobia on a regular basis. This is not an issue only adults have to deal with. Kids do as well. When kids join a new school they have to try to make new friends. I remember the times I moved schools. The one thing I hated was anxiety I felt, as I knew I had to try to make new acquaintance. I found it pretty stressful.

From my experiences and with dealing with shy people at a variety of events, I have put together some ideas of what you can work on to deal with your anxiety.

  • Act with Confidence.

This is one thing that you will have to work on continuously. Only through action, learning and practice will you get the results you want.

As with most things in life you need to practice continuously and learn as you go along. Think of playing golf. You need to put in a lot of practice to get better results. And even when you do get better, you still need to work on it to keep that performance level. If you do take some time off from playing, next time you do play you will have poor results and you have to almost start all over again.

Practice makes perfect.

  • Participate in YOUR LIFE

Life is too short to worry about being rejected. And to be fair, who really cares. So next time you are at the gym, start some small talk with someone.

Sporting events are great places to start a random conversation. You already have something in common, you like sports. It is easy from there.

If you see someone you are romantically attracted to, start a conversation. Ask them on a date if you feel the timing is right. Worst-case scenario, they say no. Nothing has changed and life goes as normal.

Most important lesson here is to engage and participate in your own life.

  • Just Say, “YES”

Step out of your comfort zone and try something new that makes you a bit anxious. I usually suggest to people to join some sort of club. Whether it is a sports club or social club. Put yourself in a position where you can meet new people. This will help you gain confidence and your anxiety of meeting new people will fade over time.

Another great option is to take on a new task. Something that will challenge you. Get a new hobby or develop a new skill.

Challenge yourself at every opportunity you get.

  • Be More Talkative

Whenever an opportunity comes up where you can do a speech or presentation, take it. This will be scary at first, but this is a great way to gain confidence. It will take some practice but so does everything worth doing.

Forget what other people may be saying or thinking. This is not about them, this is all about you.

Participate in conversations and make you ideas heard.

Remember that not everyone is going to like you. And it is simply impossible to keep everyone happy. So no need to even try.

  • Take Note of your Body Language

Confident body language is very important. Stand up straight, make eye contact, shake hands and listen. When you do speak, speak clearly and take note of your language.

  • Be Aware

You need to be present in your own life. Be aware of your thoughts and where they lead. You need to keep a positive mind to achieve better things. You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.

When you try new things and conversations, take note of the whole experience. Learn from it and work on it. Experience your own life. Take note of the things around you that you are grateful for. There are lots of positives all around us. No need to dwell on the past and bad experiences and memories. Life is happening now.

 

Follow these steps and keep working at it. At the end it is only you that can make the positive changes in your life that you desire.

This is not a quick fix and will not always be easy. But the juice will be worth the squeeze.

 

Suggested book to read ; How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. 

Tell us what you do to overcome anxiety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking the Ice.

Breaking the Ice.

“Believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic”

– Brene Brown

By Sam Kapur, Co-Founder of Guyding Principals

Most guys fail with women within the first 5 seconds of meeting them. Why is that? It’s because you don’t know how to break the ice properly. Approaching a woman at a bar, club, or any other social environment can be one the scariest aspects of dating. That’s why online sources have worked so well, they eliminate the fear of public humiliation and public rejection.

But if you can learn some basics of breaking the ice can not only meet women, but maybe even meet some interesting people.

  1. Approach with confidence

It doesn’t matter as much what you say, it’s how you say it. Obviously this is easier said than done, but the best advice I can give you is with practice comes confidence. The more you put yourself out there and try the more you realize that rejection is not the end of the world. Think of any rejection as a learning experience instead of a failure.

  1. The 5 Second Rule

Whether it’s women or the person sitting next to you at the bar in the airport. After 5 seconds of not breaking the ice things get exponentially more difficult. If you are going to approach someone or speak with them then make your move immediately. This will not only show confidence, but it will allow you to get out of you own head.

  1. Be Natural

You’re a good person that people should get to know. Don’t try to put on a fake persona, be comfortable with who you are. Even if just on a subconscious level, others can tell when you are being fake. This is another benefit of the 5 Second Rule, if you approach immediately you won’t have time to think of a cheesy line, you will say something on the cuff instead making you more genuine.

The main thing to remember is if you don’t try you will never learn. So go out there and be more social.

 

 

 

Building Confidence.

 

Building Confidence. 

“To be the greatest champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend to be” – Mohammed Ali.

  

When it comes to confidence, you have to believe in your own abilities. If you do not, no one will believe in you.

Some people will see self-confidence as arrogant. There is really nothing you can do about their opinion. When you think of a person like Kanye West. Many people will say that they see him as arrogant. I tend to see a very high level of self-confidence. His level of success speaks for itself. Same thing with people like Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGreggor. They believe in their own abilities so much that losing or failing is not even an option. They have both achieved great success.

Having a high level of self-confidence is not the only part. You need to work at your craft to make sure you get to be the best. Think of Mohammed Ali. He famously said: “Don’t count the days, Make the days count”. We all have the same amount of time every day. How we spend the time is the difference. Think about this. You never see adverts of Lamborghini and Ferrari on the TV. It is because people who can afford them don’t sit around watching TV.

Here are some tips to build your confidence.

  1. Avoid People that Drain your Energy.

You have the ability to choose the people in your life. Make sure they build you up. There is nothing selfish about looking after yourself and your goals. Keep your focus.

  1. Avoid Toxic News and Influences.

When you are exposed to bad news all day you cannot hold a positive vision on life. Be aware of what you are exposed to daily. I have a fixed routine so automatically I control my environment.

  1. Avoid Distraction.

To achieve your dreams you need to keep working at it. Avoid being distracted when you are working on your goals. This will ensure you achieve your goals in good time. When faced with distractions, you will not do the quality work you need.

  1. Surround Yourself with Confidence Fuels.

Have reading material at hand. Reading a successful persons book will keep you motivated. Get yourself some books by Tony Robbins. This will surely keep your spirits up and fuel you to keep going.

  1. Get Fit.

Nothing like some good exercise to clear the mind. Get yourself some good podcasts to listen to while you train.

  1. Use Your Time Wisely.

We all have the same amount of time every day. Make sure you use it effectively. I will do another post on this topic, as it is a big area to cover. One piece of advise I do have. Get going early and do the big tasks early.

When you building your dream you have to understand that sometimes you will face a lot of criticism. Family members will tell you to stop dreaming. They will say that it will not work. The road will not be easy, that I can guarantee you. All I can say is to avoid the tribe of mediocrity.

Also read Networking for the Shy Guy.

What do you do to keep your motivation up? Please comment below so other readers can get some added advise.