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What Every Successful Person Knows, But Never Says

Ira Glass is the host and executive producer of the popular National Public Radio show, This American Life.

Each week, This American Life is broadcast to more than 1.7 million listeners across 500 different radio stations. For Glass, who is featured in almost every episode, the show has led to a wide range of opportunities including book deals, feature films, and appearances on popular television shows.

Of course, it wasn’t always that way.
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Plan for Chaos: How to Stick to Your Health Goals When Life Gets Crazy

I played baseball in college. During the offseason, my teammates and I would battle through friendly Strongman competitions where we would flip a giant tractor tire, drag a sled full of weights, and generally push, pull, and throw heavy, oddly-shaped things.

Occasionally, there would be an event where someone would complain about “not being built for this” or about “not training for this type of thing.”

Eventually, my roommate responded to the whining with a simple phrase: “Train for chaos.”

“Train for chaos” was a simple way of saying, “Don’t tell me that the circumstances aren’t ideal. Tell me that you’re going to make it your responsibility to be better prepared next time.”

You may not find yourself flipping tractor tires anytime soon, but you can adapt this philosophy from “train for chaos” to “plan for chaos.” I find that this mentality can be incredibly useful when it comes to sticking to your goals and living a healthy life — especially when life gets busy.

Here’s how you can use this idea…
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Haters and Critics: How to Deal with People Judging You and Your Work

It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life — whether you build a business or work a corporate job; have children or choose not to have children; travel the world or live in the same town all of your life; go to the gym 5 times a week or sit on the couch every night — whatever you do, someone will judge you for it.

For one reason or another, someone will find a reason to project their insecurities, their negativity, and their fears onto you and your life, and you’ll have to deal with it.

With that in mind, let’s talk about being judged and criticized. And just for fun, I’ll share some of the most hateful comments I’ve received on my articles. And more importantly, the strategies I use to deal with them.

Here’s what I’ve learned about dealing with the people who judge you, your work, and your goals.
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It’s Good to Feel Stupid: 5 Thoughts on Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt

I was lifting with the owner of my gym. She was doing clean and jerks. I was squatting.

In between sets, I asked if she had ever competed in an Olympic weightlifting meet. “You should do one. They are a lot of fun and you’re definitely built to be a weightlifter.”

“That’s what everyone tells me, but I don’t know,” she responded. “Competitions make me kind of nervous. I just think: what if I miss this lift and all of these people see it?”

Let’s pause for a moment.

Remember, this is someone who OWNS a gym. She misses lifts every single week and sees hundreds of other people do the same. And yet here she is, letting her fear of being judged prevent her from doing something that she’d like to do.

This little conversation reminded me of why I hate “fear–based decision making” and got me thinking about the importance of overcoming fear. Let’s talk about how you can get past fear and self–doubt and do the things that you want to do.
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The Difference Between Being “Not Wrong” and Being Right

Most people are good at not failing.

They’re good at trying new things (when there is very little downside). They’re good at pushing themselves (when no one will see them fail). They’re good at taking a stand (when a thousand other people have already done so).

And to be fair, I’m just as guilty of these things as anyone else.

But a problem arises when it becomes more important to “not fail” in your daily life than it is to succeed. Every time you choose to avoid failure, you train yourself to not take risks. You train yourself to pass on potential opportunity in favor of playing it safe. You train yourself to use the fear of failure as a driver for decision–making.

If your tendency in any situation is to “not fail,” then you’ll find it hard to ever truly win because you’re teaching yourself that it’s better to make an easy choice that’s “not wrong” than a hard choice that’s right.
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High Expectations: When to be Unreasonable With Yourself (And When to Take it Easy)

If you’re working to become better, live healthier, or hoping to make a change, then phrases like “go big or go home” or “stretch yourself” often get tossed around by well–meaning friends, family, and co–workers.

But when is it a good idea to set high expectations for yourself? And when can big goals shoot you in the foot?

Perhaps most importantly, how can you balance the ambition to become better with the goal of remaining happy?
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