Source: The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles
“Since belief is all important, it behooves you to guard your thoughts; and as your beliefs will be shaped to a very great extent by the things you observe and think about, it is important that you should command your attention.
And here the will comes into use; for it is by your will that you determine upon what things your attention shall be fixed.
If you want to become rich, you must not make a study of poverty.
Things are not brought into being by thinking about their opposites. Health is never to be attained by studying disease and thinking about disease; righteousness is not to be promoted by studying sin and thinking about sin; and no one ever got rich by studying poverty and thinking about poverty.
Medicine as a science of disease has increased disease; religion as a science of sin has promoted sin, and economics as a study of poverty will fill the world Do not talk about poverty; do not investigate it, or concern yourself with it.
Never mind what its causes are; you have nothing to do with them. What concerns you is the cure.”
“Do not spend your time in charitable work, or charity movements; all charity only tends to perpetuate the wretchedness it aims to eradicate.
I do not say that you should be hard hearted or unkind, and refuse to hear the cry of need; but you must not try to eradicate poverty in any of the conventional ways. Put poverty behind you, and put all that pertains to it behind you, and “make good.”
Opportunities are multiplied when seized – Sun Tzu, Art of War
And you cannot hold the mental image which is to make you rich if you fill your mind with pictures of poverty.
Do not read books or papers which give circumstantial accounts of the wretchedness of the tenement dwellers, of the horrors of child labor, and so on. Do not read anything which fills your mind with gloomy images of want and suffering.
You cannot help the poor in the least by knowing about these things; and the wide-spread knowledge of them does not tend at all to do away with poverty.”
“What tends to do away with poverty is not the getting of pictures of poverty into your mind, but getting pictures of wealth into the minds of the poor.
You are not deserting the poor in their misery when you refuse to allow your mind to be filled with pictures of that misery.
Poverty can be done away with, not by increasing the number of well to do people who think about poverty, but by increasing the number of poor people who purpose with faith to get rich.”
The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration.
Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two; but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery.
If you want to help the poor, demonstrate to them that they can become rich; prove it by getting rich yourself.
People must be taught to become rich by creation, not by competition. Every man who becomes rich by competition throws down behind him the ladder by which he rises, and keeps others down; but every man who gets rich by creation opens a way for thousands to follow him, and inspires them to do so.
You are not showing hardness of heart or an unfeeling disposition when you refuse to pity poverty, see poverty, read about poverty, or think or talk about it, or to listen to those who do talk about it.
Use your will power to keep your mind OFF the subject of poverty, and to keep it fixed with faith and purpose ON the vision of what you want.”
Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations.
Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined.
Brian Tracy has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the US, Canada and 55 other countries worldwide. As a Keynote speaker and seminar leader, he addresses more than 250,000 people each year.
He has studied, researched, written and spoken for 30 years in the fields of economics, history, business, philosophy and psychology. He is the top selling author of over 45 books that have been translated into dozens of languages.
He has written and produced more than 300 audio and video learning programs, including the worldwide, best-selling Psychology of Achievement, which has been translated into more than 20 languages.
He speaks to corporate and public audiences on the subjects of Personal and Professional Development, including the executives and staff of many of America’s largest corporations. His exciting talks and seminars on Leadership, Selling, Self-Esteem, Goals, Strategy, Creativity and Success Psychology bring about immediate changes and long-term results.
Prior to founding his company, Brian Tracy International, Brian was the Chief Operating Officer of a $265 million dollar development company. He has had successful careers in sales and marketing, investments, real estate development and syndication, importation, distribution and management consulting. He has conducted high level consulting assignments with several billion-dollar plus corporations in strategic planning and organizational development.
He has traveled and worked in over 80 countries on six continents, and speaks four languages. Brian is happily married and has four children. He is active in community and national affairs, and is the President of three companies headquartered in Solana Beach, California.
Ohhh man what a night in Atlantic City. Shout out to DJ Big Ben. He definitely knows how to rock a party. I had such a great time at Providence last night. The Music was pumping and the crowd was live. I haven’t been to a good club in a minute. I actually don’t remember the last time I had so much fun in a club.
Definitely needed to get away for a few days and unwind. I’ve been working soo hard it was a well deserved mini vacation. I ended up staying at the Tropicana. What an amazing hotel. The service was excellent. Luxury isn’t the word. They treated me like a King. I felt I was in another world and I didn’t even need to leave the hotel.
They had 3 floors of gaming. I didn’t even know where to begin. The sun was going down when I got there and when my boys dragged me off the jack table the sun was just coming up. There were so many live tables and slots everywhere. The energy in there was crazy!! People were jumping and screaming every few minutes.
Let me tell you it was a real lucky night for a lot of people. Everywhere I looked someone else was winning. I can honestly say I learned a lot about gambling over the last few days. And I think I’m actually getting hooked. The rush you get when gambling is unexplainable. And once you win you just can’t stop because you want to keep winning. That’s why I signed up to Castle JackpotYou should check out the site. They have live gaming. You can play for points or with real money. The site is definitely secure and they have so many games to choose from. I ended up creating an account because now I can play anytime I want and from where ever I’m at.
Anyhow, definitely had some good times. Need to go back to Atlantic City real soon. Had a blast……….
The Science of Productivity / How do we become more efficient at working, and spend less time working overall?
Made in collaboration with Sparring Mind, the behavioral psychology blog.
In today’s crazy world, productivity is on the minds of many. So what can science tell us about the human brain and productive work? How do we become more efficient at working, and spend less time working overall?
The Psychology of Productivity: A Proven Way to Get More Done (in Less Time)
by Gregory Ciotti
In today’s busy world, we seem to be obsessed with the idea of “productivity” and “work hacks”.
It’s easy to see why: being able to get more done allows us to get ahead in life, and even gives us more time to do the things we love outside of work.
The problem we run into, however, is that it is easy to get motivated, but hard to stay disciplined.
This is because most of us look at productivity in the wrong way: it’s not about signing up for the latest task management tool (which, admit it, you’ll use for a week and soon abandon) or chaining yourself to your desk, it’s about understanding the science behind how your brain works, and using it to your advantage.
Today, we’ll look at what science has unveiled about the human brain and productive work, and you’ll learn how to tackle the biggest pitfalls that sabotage your ability to get things done.
All You Need to Know About Productivity (in a 3 Minute Video!)
My first ever video related project, get excited!
collaborated with Mitchell Moffit of the ASAPscience team to create the above video.
Okay, so a 3 minute video might not be able to contain all the research I’ve compiled on the subject, but it seriously covers all of the essentials!
In it you’ll learn…
Why worrying about having “more willpower” is a fool’s game
How world class experts stay productive… and what they do differently
The science behind why better energy management = a more productive you
Big pitfalls that lead to busywork and procrastination
So go ahead and watch it, and enjoy.
Once you’ve done that, and you’re still itching to know more, scroll down: there are a dozen studies and 2000+ words waiting for you.
Abandon All Willpower, Ye Who Enter Here
The first thing we need to acknowledge in the pursuit of a more productive lifestyle is the mountain of evidence that suggests willpower alone will not be enough to stay productive!
According to research by Janet Polivy, our brain fears big projects and often fails to commit to long-term goals because we’re susceptible to “abandoning ship” at the first sign of distress.
Think of the last time you went on a failed diet…
You stocked your fridge with the healthiest foods & planned to exercise every day… until the first day you slipped up. After that, it was back to your old ways.
To make matters worse, research by Kenneth McGraw s was able to show that the biggest “wall” to success was often just getting started. Additional research in this area (surrounding the Zeigarnik Effect) suggests that we’re prone to procrastinating on large projects because we visualize the worst parts and thus delay in getting started.
What do our brains prefer to do instead? According to researcher John Bargh, your brain will attempt to “simulate” real productive work by avoiding big projects and focusing on small, mindless tasks to fill your time.
“Big project due tomorrow? Better reorganize my movie collection!”
Perhaps worst of all, numerous studies on the concept of “ego-depletion” have provided some astounding evidence that suggests our willpower is a “limited resource” that can be used up in it’s entirety!
With all of that stacked against us, what hope do we have? What can we possibly do to be more productive?
In order to figure this out, one of our best bets is to observe the habits of some of the world’s most productive people.
Fortunately for us, numerous researchers have done exactly that, and their findings on the “secrets” of productivity will surprise you.
The Habits of Productive People
If I were to ask to describe the practice regiments of world-class musicians, you’d probably envision a shut-in artist who plays all day long and then tucks in their instrument at night.
Amazingly though, research by Anders Ericsson that examined the practice sessions of elite violinists clearly showed that the best performers were not spending more time on the violin, but rather were being more productive during their practice sessions.
Better yet, the most elite players were getting more sleep on average than everyone else!
How is that possible?
Subsequent research by Anders reveals the answer: the best players were engaging in more “deliberate practice”.
That is, they spent more time on the hardest tasks and were better at managing their energy levels.
Think of it this way: if you were trying to get better at basketball, you’d be much better off practicing specific drills for a couple of hours rather than “shooting hoops” all day long.
Since deliberate practice requires you to spend more “brainpower” than busy work, how can you implement it without draining your willpower?
The first answer isn’t very sexy, but it’s necessary: the best way to overcome your fear of spending a lot of energy on a big project is to simply get started.
The Zeigarnik Effect (mentioned above) is a construct in our minds that psychologists have observed in numerous studies on “suspense”. One such study gave participants “brain buster” puzzles to complete, but not enough time to complete them. The surprising thing was, even when participants were asked to stop, over 90% of them went on to complete the puzzles anyway.
According to the lead researcher:
“It seems to be human nature to finish what we start and, if it is not finished, we experience dissonance.”
It’s the same thing that happens when we become engaged in a story in a book, movie or TV show: we want to see how it ends!
You can use this knowledge to your advantage by just getting started on that next big project, knowing that first step really is an important one in being productive.
Once you’ve gotten started though, you need better methods of staying productive and engaging in “deliberate practice” in order to avoid doing busy work.
How to Work Like an Expert
A multitude of research has shown us that discipline is best maintained through habits, not through willpower.
According to Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project, most people hold their productivity back by not rigidly scheduling work & rest breaks throughout the day.
Since most of us are worried about our willpower, we don’t push ourselves to our maximum productive output: instead of “giving our all” for brief productivity sessions, we distribute our effort throughout the day, leading us back to busywork to fill our time.
What should we do instead?
Schwartz often cites a research study conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration that revealed how short breaks between longer working sessions resulted in a 16% improvement in awareness & focus.
Research from Peretz Lavie on “ultradian rhythms” matches up with these findings: longer productive sessions (of 90 minutes) followed by short breaks (of no more than 15-20 minutes) sync more closely with our natural energy cycles and allow us to maintain a better focus and higher energy level throughout the day.
The best part? Both of these studies on energy management match up with the practice schedules of the world-class violinists: the most common practice regimen for the “cream of the crop” players was a 90-minute block of intense practice followed by a 15-minute break.
The moral of the story: It’s hard to be productive while trying to maintain high energy levels through your entire day.
It’s much easier for your brain to approach a 90-minute session of productivity when it knows that a 15-minute break is coming up afterward.
Instead of trying to conserve your energy for multiple hours, we are at our most productive when we break big projects down into smaller chunks and plan a recovery period right after.
For projects done on your own time, try scheduling blocks of 90-minute work sessions with a planned cool down time of 15 minutes directly afterwards. When you know a break is on the horizon, you won’t try to “pace yourself” with your work, and will be more inclined to dive into the difficult stuff.
While great for tackling the toughest parts of large projects, this technique doesn’t really address many problems related to discipline, an important part of staying productive for more than just a day or two.
Fortunately, we have research in this area that will change the way you approach discipline and that will get you to start using systems to maintain and track your progress.
The Art of Staying Disciplined
One segment of the population known for struggling with discipline are those who addicted to hard drugs.
Given their disposition for being unable to commit to many things, you might be surprised to find that during an experiment testing the ability of drug addicts to write & submit a 5 paragraph essay on time, those who wrote down when & where they would complete the essay were 90% more likely to turn it in!
These findings have some interesting correlation with those related to discipline in “normal” people: in a study examining the ability of average people to stick with a strict dieting plan, researchers found that those participants who rigorously monitored what they were eating were able to maintain far higher levels of self-control when it came to maintaining their diet.
Last but not least, Dan Ariely and colleagues conducted a study involving college students and found that students who imposed strict deadlines on themselves for assignments performed far better (and more consistently) than those who didn’t.
These findings were especially interesting because Ariely noted that students who gave themselves too generous of a deadline often suffered from the same problems as students who set zero deadlines: when you allot yourself too much time to complete a task, you can end up creating a “mountain out of a molehill”.
Since we now know that tracking our progress is a key component of productivity, how can we implement this practice into our daily routine?
One method is to use an Accountability Chart to track what work you’ve completed during your 90-minute productive sessions, similar to how the dieters tracked their food consumption.
To easily implement one into your daily routine, simply create two-columns on a piece of paper, Google Docs spreadsheet, or even a whiteboard.
Column 1 will list the time-span of one of your productivity sessions.
Column 2 will list what tasks you’ve accomplished in that limited time-span.
Don’t include any columns for your 15-minute breaks, as those times are for your own sake and means to replenish your willpower.
This seemingly simple strategy works incredibly well for 2 very specific reasons:
Tracking your progress in this way has been proven by Dr. Kentaro Fujita to increase self-control because you’ll be exposed to the work you’ve actually accomplished, and not the (inaccurate) assumption of work you might construe in your head. (Forcing yourself to write down the fact that you spent 2 hours on Reddit doing no work guilt trips you into not doing it again ).
Progress tracking is also a known strategy for stopping yourself from engaging in “robotic behavior” (also known as ‘busywork’), a habit that researcher John Bargh describes as the #1 enemy of goal striving.
Productivity & Multitasking
With a work schedule, an energy management strategy and a task-tracking system in place, the last challenge we have to face is that of multitasking.
The danger surrounding multitasking lies in how our brains perceive it: according to a 1999 study, we have a tendency to view multitasking as really effective from the outside… after all, shouldn’t productivity increase if we are doing multiple things at once?
The science shows us that this is an absolute falsehood: Researcher Zhen Wang was able to show that on average, multitaskers are actually less likely to be productive, yet they feel more “emotionally satisfied” with their work (creating an illusion of productivity).
“We were absolutely shocked. We all lost our bets. It turns out multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking.”
How can we fight back?
The best way is to simply block ourselves from distracting elements that may cause us to multitask.
When working on the computer, be sure to use tools like Controlled multi-tab browsing and StayFocusd (Chrome extensions) to block distracting sites and limit the amount of tabs you can have open.
The next best strategy is to create an evening planning ritual where you select a few priority tasks to accomplish the next day.
The reason this method works far better than planning your daily tasks in the morning is because research from the Kellogg School(not the cereal ) has shown that we drastically miscalculate the amount of focus we’ll be able to maintain in the future: that is, we strongly believe that we’ll be able to quickly plan our day the next morning, but when tomorrow rolls around without a game plan to get us started, we’ll likely fall back into our old multitasking ways to avoid doing any real work.
You can create an evening planning ritual with a simple pen & paper or use an online tool like TeuxDeux each night. List only priority tasks (the “big 5”) for the day and be sure to include completed tasks in your Accountability Chart when they are completed.
Last but not least, since the research has shown us that we are terrible at “winging it” when it comes to completing big projects, split large tasks up into smaller segments so your brain won’t view the assignment as something that is so large that you must multitask to complete it.
(For instance, instead of listing “Work on research project” as a daily goal, try something like “Finish introduction” or “Find additional sources” as a task you can complete)
The Instant Replay
That was a lot of research covered in quite a long blog post.
(I like the sound of my own voice… er, the sound of my own typing?)
Since that’s the case, here’s a quick recap to help you get your productivity system started…
Understand that willpower alone will not save you: Your productivity shouldn’t be reliant on your sheer force of will alone. Sure, mental toughness will get you a long way, but in order to stay disciplined over time, you need to acknowledge the usefulness of systems for keeping yourself on track.
Give yourself the ability to go “all-in”: Working harder on the stuff that matters is going to drain you mentally & physically. Don’t be afraid of giving yourself multiple breaks throughout the day. It’s better to “chunk” productivity sessions into 90 minute periods (followed by 15 minute breaks) in order to keep yourself sharp and to alleviate the stress of pacing your energy throughout the entire day.
World class experts utilize this strategy, so it ought to be good enough for you too!
If it’s not worth measuring, it’s not worth doing: Okay… that might be a bit of an exaggeration.
Seriously though, tracking has been PROVEN to be the best way to stay diligent about your progress. Create an accountability chart to list what productive things you’ve gotten done throughout the day. You’ll see how much you’re really accomplishing.
Multitasking is your enemy: Treat it as such. Block out unwanted distractions and as Ron Swanson would say, “Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.”
Plan your day the night before so you won’t get consumed with the wonderful distractions of the internet when you start your day.
It’s your turn…
Leave a comment below letting me know what you thought about this research.
Did anything make you re-evaluate how you view productivity?
Do you particularly agree (or disagree) with any of the conclusions I’ve drawn?
Which Music Discovery Platform Has the Biggest Audience?
A Guest Post by VentureHarbour
This isn’t just another speculative poll on which music streaming / discovery platform is winning the arms race. Oh no! I thought it might be fun to collect a bunch of data from tools used by the digital marketing community to highlight which platform has built and maintained the largest online audience.
I’m going to say up front that this blog post has nothing to do with the profitability, quality, or awesomeness of any of the platforms compared. While this might seem like a naive omission for an article talking about marketing effectiveness, I think a focus on these aspects distracts from the point of which service has built, and is engaging with the largest audience.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s a summary of who’s winning in a variety of categories:
Website Traffic / SEO
Number of Users
As you can see, Pandora are our overall winners when it comes to size of audience. While they do have an unfair advantage (they’ve been around for 13 years, have ~1,000 employees and$56.3m funding) it’s worth pointing out that they’re far from having a monopoly. Spotify, Last.fm, Deezer and Grooveshark all give Pandora a serious run for their money in some areas that we’ve analysed. So let’s kick off with the big one; who has the most users?
Which music discovery platform has the most users?
Please note that the graph above shows registered users, not active users.
Which service do people search for the most in Google?
Generally speaking, the more searches for your brand name in Google, the stronger the size and awareness of your brand. I was interested to investigate the volume of searches for each of the platforms’ brand names, both over time and in relation to each other.
This isn’t an easy one to analyse, particularly due to the multiple intents for searching for ‘Pandora’ (it’s also a popular jewelry brand, and a Greek myth), but after having a poke around with various different queries and tools (SEMrush, Google Insights, Google Trends) it became clear that Pandora are indeed the most heavily searched for music streaming / discovery platform on Google, followed by Deezer, Spotify, and Grooveshark, all in close competition.
Interestingly, when you look at these search trends segmented by geographical regions, it becomes clear that each platform is focusing on different geographical markets. Grooveshark (heatmap displayed to the right) are clearly targeting Argentina, Australia, The United States, Mexico and Canada; whereas Deezer are obviously tackling France, and Spotify are making the biggest impact in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.
Which service receives the most traffic from Search Engines?
It’s very interesting comparing this graph and the one below, as it shows which platforms have placed some focus on SEO as a method for attracting a larger audience. Out of the services compared, it seems that Pandora and Last.fm have both placed heavy focus on building links and generating vast quantities of high quality user-generated content.
Deezer is an interesting one, as despite relatively few links and pages, they receive a huge amount of search engine traffic from Google.fr, which works a little bit differently to Google.com (e.g. it places more emphasis on ranking pages written in French, or created by French sources).
Which service has been linked to the most from other websites?
The number of links a website has from other sites is often a good indicator of the quality and degree of emphasis being placed on online PR & SEO.
One thing that Last.fm have done incredibly well from an SEO perspective, is that they’ve encouraged users and artists to link to their Last.fm profile. This isn’t really typical of any other music streaming or discovery service, and it’s had a huge impact in enabling Last.fm to rank very high in Google for searches for artist names, which tend to have a high search volume.
Now I know that link quantity isn’t the be all and end all (link quality trumps link quantity), but in this case there does appear to be a good correlation between quantity and quality metrics, such as overall domain authority (here’s a more in depth analysis from OSE).
Which service has the most followers on social media?
For me, the most exciting insight from this graph is just how exceptionally well Pandora are using Google Plus. It’s not common to see a brand with over 500,000 +1s on the relatively new social network – even Spotify (in second place) only have 24,000 +1s! What’s particularly interesting, though, is that Spotify have approximately 3x as many Twitter followers as Pandora, suggesting a slightly alternative focus between the platforms as to which social network to target.
Besides these two outliers, it seems that Deezer are certainly punching above their weight with over 1.3m Facebook fans, and Last.fm and Rdio both seem to have placed some effort into growing their Google+ communities. Without looking too much into how engaged these various communities of fans and followers are it’s hard to make any concrete assumptions on who’s using social media most effectively, but the numbers seem to suggest that in order of best to worst it goes: Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, Grooveshark, Last.fm, Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody, and then Earbits.
So there we go! Pandora, Deezer and Last.fm have got their heads screwed on right from an SEO perspective. Spotify, the kings of product launches, are doing some very forward social media engagement and online PR, and Pandora is leading the way with the most users.
What I find really interesting about this analysis, is that it’s shown just how level the playing field still is, despite the competitiveness and aggressive nature of the music streaming market. It’s clear that each platform has adopted a completely different strategy and geographical focus, making the progress of each platform very exciting to watch develop.
What do you think? Who will be the winner at the end of 2013