How to Give memorable and genuine compliments: Weekly challenge #26


Purpose: to educate people in how to give genuine compliments to people

We continue in the path of connecting with people – as it is the focus of this September month!

This week’s challenge is about learning how to give memorable, genuine compliments and applying it throughout the week! In fact, at least two a day to be specific. Stay tuned and I’ll tell you all about it.

Why ?

When it comes to connecting to people, one of the most powerful things you can do – if executed in the right way – is to give a thoughtful and genuine complement. Just think about it, do you remember the last time you got a compliment? How did you feel?

  • I talked to my mom the other day and she told me that her friend, which I met a while back, told her that I seemed like such a nice and carrying person that was so easy to connect with!

it just made my day when I heard about that – it still warms me up thinking about it, and that wasn’t even straight to my face! It’s simple, in most cases, we like people that like us! (There’s always exceptions)

So that’s what we’re going to work on this week. Practicing giving genuine real complements in a thoughtful and authentic way – Make the person you’re talking to feel good!

The problem:

This isn’t as easy as it seems – it comes with some skill development, but don’t worry, I’ll tell you the key things that will set you up with all you need to know!

The problem, or trap, with giving compliments is mainly two fault:

  • People can think that we’re just saying stuff because we have a hidden agenda and a suck up.
  • We think that people will think that we are just saying stuff because we have a hidden agenda and are a suck up.

On a deeper level, when you give a genuine compliment, there is less risk of you getting taken for being fake with other intentions because your body language; When we lie or say something we don’t mean, our body language gives that a way in a heartbeat. Even though the other person receiving it can’t pin point it, they feel something is of, because subconsciously they are receiving all these kinds micro expressions that are telling a different story. But when we are genuinely telling the truth, all our thousands of micro expressions will be aligned with what you’re actually saying. It’s in harmony.


The solution is to give genuine and authentic compliments that actually has some thought behind them – an observational compliment! To show them that they’ve earned your like, you don’t’ throw good compliments around to anybody.  These things give your compliment a higher value.

IT’S NOT on a surface level like, oh nice jacket, you’re so good looking no, it’s deeper than that, it requires some thought and brain activity to go into it.

The first step to genuine compliments is active listening and observational skills, so you actually have some ingredients to cook that delicious compliment on! It should be unique customised for that person; it shows them that you care and take notice. So be specific! Try to find out their goals, interests and passion areas, likes and dislikes. This means You have to be genuinely interested of a person! For real. Be curios and ask questions and make the connections.

And if you are to give a compliment about someone’s nice jacket for instance, make sure you really mean it and be specific about it. A warning is in place though – those kinds of compliments are much easier taken for being shallow and something people just say to make people like them. But if you for instance say, “oh man, you really have a nice collection of those levis jackets, that one in particular would just go perfect with your grey Nikes you had the other day”

Why does this work? Well, the person is going to notice that you really listen, you put your time and energy into relay picking up on the details, drawing conclusions based on what has been said that is actually correct – you don’t just do a routine script that you pull on every other person, this is customized and unique and requires full attention! Time and focus is something rare, and not something we are being spoiled with from people. Maybe our best friends care enough, but that’s usually it.

You have to be careful though, compliments are like money, if you keep creating new ones, you’ll get inflation, and the value of it will decrease. Inflation will strike. Especially if they’re shallow.

VIP persons that gets a lot of complements, even genuine ones, may have been affected by this phenomena, and then it’s even more important that the complements are rare and unique to not just be one among all the others.

The Objective:

  • Make two genuine complements per day, and it should be to different persons throughout the week! And I want you write down a few notes for each interaction so you in the end of the week can read through it all and make some reflection about the week that has past – evaluate yourself!
  • That’s it, to sum it up, to make a genuine compliment, be genuine but add some thought to it – be specific and mind the details.

Final words

Remember your reasons for doing this; write down you’re why, so you’re motivated to follow through. Also, to increase the likelihood of doing this, commit to me in the comments or any friend of yours, and it will give you that extra willpower.

Also , credit to #RamitSethi who has taught me most of the things I’m saying here. Great source when it comes to developing social skills.

I wish you the best of luck, see you on the other side brother (or sister)

And don’t forget to subscribe so you can follow me in the week and the evaluation in the end of the week!

Question: Let me know in the comments the last time you gave someone a complement, what was it, and how it was received.

/ Alexander.



Posting schedule:

SUNDAYS: New Weekly Personal Development Challenge

WEEK DAYS: Depending on the challenge, but at least one Video/Vlog at the Wednesdays

FRIDAY: Evaluation of Week Challenge

Join us, raise your standards, and start the journey to become the person you’ve always wanted to be,







Snapchat: alenils


/With Love, Alexander


Weekly Challenge #25: Connecting with people – Adding value to conversations

Weekly Challenge #25:  Connecting with people – Adding value to conversations
Alexander Nilsson
September 11th 2016

Hey guys and welcome to this week’s challenge!

As you all know, “connecting with people” is a big area, and that’s why we are going to make it the focus of this month (September) and brake every week down to smaller challenges with that end goal in mind.

Social skills are properly one of top most important things you can develop within yourself with the highest payback. Your job, your friends, and your love of your life – they will all in 99% of the cases come down to your social skills.
One of the common problems we run into when having conversations with people, is the art of balancing the amount of questions we ask, in contrast to actually bring something of our own to the conversation. Personally,
So, this week I’ve been listening a lot to Ramit sethi Social skills advice, a highly successful guy that know this area better than most people. You’ll find YouTube channel here:

In brief, he says: ask two questions, and then make a statement or add something of your own!

I want you to actively think about this during at least two conversations per day, and make some reflection about how it went when you’ve finished the conversation. Of course, next level is to play around with what kind of questions that are engaging, and how you can connect what the person just have said to make a relevant statement about! Depending on what social skill level you’re currently at.

That’s it, that’s all we’re going to do this week! Super simple, now just make sure to follow through and do it.

Commit to me in the comments, or any friend of yours, and let’s do this. If you have any comments or thoughts, don’t hesitate to ask.

See you in the vlog, and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to become the best version of yourself!

Weekly Challenge#24 – The 6 Phase Guided Meditation Practice

Hey guys!

It’s time for a new challenge! And this time we are all about mentally conditioning ourselves each morning, to prepare ourselves for the day that is about to embark upon us, conditioning our mind to be ready for everything. And we are going to do that by trying out a morning meditation practice! But, It’s not mediation in the classical sense, but it’s a daily ten-minute routine we’re we are actively going to engage our minds in 6 key areas that will set u up for success.

The purpose of this challenge – to implement a structured morning routine that mentally condition us to be in tip top for the day that lies ahead of us – to be able to perform at maximum capacity with clarity and intention over impulse.


Now, more often than before, we keep get bombarded with all the benefits of meditation, it just all around us; we got strong correlation to happiness, better heart health, more focus and clarity. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten numb to all the good stuff. I know I should be doing it, but it’s so hard. Especially since I’m going to be starting my new job as a mechanical engineer this week, I better make sure to get my shit together on a mental level, been a little bit stressed out lately. I need to be able to show up as the best version of myself everyday – and I bet that is true for you as well.

Now of course there is good to question the mainstream of what is popular before just jumping on the trend train, but when so many great leaders and innovators start to proclaim it, it’s hard not to fall into it. Especially when I’ve tasted the good stuff that meditation can bring, but still quite haven’t managed to implement any kind of consistent routines or accurate use of these methods.


I’ve been hungry for the meditation eureka practice, the thing that would change my life, and it probably took me like 4-5 years until I actually first started to try some kind of meditation. Actually I think it started as recurrent powernap session, which then occasionally transformed to some kind of mediation practice. But it’s hard, it’s so hard to find that inner piece, and emptiness that they say you shall have.  Is that even possible…. I actually did a meditation challenge a couple of months ago, which turned out alright, but it didn’t change my life. However, I’ve been lacking that practice lately. But classical meditation is not what this challenge is about, no, this is something different, this is guided meditation, which frankly I’m not sure really is meditation at all.

The 6 Phase Guided Meditation Practice


Guided meditation is when there is engagement by in the actual meditation; you or somebody else guides you trough a series of questions or statements. There’s active thinking in the process in contrary to what meditation seeks to attain, and this is something I’ve done sporadically a year back with an old recording of Tony Robbins called hour of power, where he makes you do some gratitude practices, incantations visualisations and so on. Not far from what our challenge will be all about. But it’s quite old, and I think it needs some fine tuning to reach perfection. Although I still use it regularly as well, and it serves it purpose!

But so last week I stumbled over this video and got stuck in a 35 min talk about this thing called guided meditation ( I just knew this was something for me – it was the real deal.  A 6 phase guide mediation created by an inspiring entrepreneur Vishen Lakhiani, and he did just what I’ve had a taste of and I’ve tried it a couple of time and really like it. It seemed to hit all the right nails. So what we are doing here this week, is Vishen Lakhiani  6 Phase guided meditation which takes you through a series of questions to condition you to perform at you best throughout the day!

The 6 areas we need to meet on our life to make everything stick – in his words – are addressed in the guided meditation for you to actively engage in and think about.

  • Compassion (The feeling of being connected to people, animals, the nature, all of it)
  • Gratitude (The practice of being happy of what has been, and what is, not only what we might attain in a distant future. Three areas are concerned; personal life, career and yourself)
  • Forgiveness (Learning to forgive – being at peace with the world and all the people in it. When we do mistakes we call it circumstance, when other people do it, it’s character. These negative charges limit us and drags us down.)
  • Vision for your future (The ideal image of what lies ahead of you. We overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can do in 3 years.)
  • Perfect day (Creating the sense of being in control of your day, intention over impulse. When you imagine and tell yourself you are going to have a good day, it’s not that bad things won’t happen, but we take notice of the god things to greater extend, and less focus on the bad things.)
  • The blessing (Feeling a bigger source of support, spiritualty, and for an atheist like me believing in my future self.)

I really recommend you to watch the whole video by himself:


The Objectives for this week:

  • Start every morning with listening to the guided meditation practice

Now he has an app you can download and listen to this guided meditation (just search for “Omvana” in Appstore ) , but in its 20 minutes long. In the talk I listened to, he did a 10 minute version of the same routine, so I’ve put together an MP3 file with only that audio which you can download here I know how hard it is to take time to do new stuff, speciously at the morning, so I think 10 minutes is a good start and what we should aim for this week. So all you’ve got to do i to listen to his guided mediation for 10 minutes each morning! That’s it, that’s all!

The 10 min meditation Practice:

Download the file:

Just copy the link into the webrowser and then when it has loaded, right click on the player and choose “save as”.

Or watch the original video:

Final Words

Before I wave you off, I just want to emphasise something; I don’t know about you, But at least I’M FULLY MOTIVATED. But we all have our personal reasons for taking on a challenge, and if it is something that requires time and energy, we need to motivate ourselves properly. So ask yourself why you should do this, and be vivid and detailed for the reasons, evoke emotions. Ideally you write down plenty of reasons for why you MUST, why you CAN and Why it will benefit you. But I know we’re are lazy people, so if you don’t have the energy, just make sure you feel motivated to do this, otherwise you’ll probably quit!

Also, as I always mention, commit to me in the comments or any other friend of yours, that you are going to do this five-day challenge. It will dramatically increase your chances of following through. I

Good luck, have fun, see you in a future state!


Weekly Challenge#22 Public Speaking Practices


Hey guys, and welcome to this week’s challenge: public speaking practices. You don’t actually have to throw yourself in front of a big audience to increase your ability so speak in front of an audience, of course in the end, that’s where the real magic happens, but there’s a lot of ground work that can be done at home at your safe heaven to be ready for those moments than eventually always will come.  Therefore, in this Weeks’s challenge I have set up a basic daily practice routine for you to get comfortable speaking in front of a camera by doing a 3-5 minute recording each day about anything, focusing in on using one body language technique each day. And then, reviewing your result not only to get comfortable with seeing and hearing yourself, but also in order to realise what you may need to tweak and adjust to improve. This is what I have found – when looking into expert’s advices – to be a good daily simple practice if you want to improve your public speaking abilities.
Why public speaking?

Public speaking is a skill that from time to time really puts u on the spot, it could be your moment to shine and make sure your opinions and visions are getting heard, or it’s just something you have to go through as part of your must do activates in your school, career a social event, etc. What we can say for sure is that it’s something we all needed to do from time to time, and the feeling of not being able to perform when all the eyes are turned to you. well, it’s one of the worst feelings imaginable; leaving deep wounds in our soul that can stay on for years and years to come. Furthermore, a good experience can thrill and excite in ways other things have hard to do. Take it from one that has made it through both experiences plenty of times. And if you want to make your dreams and vision come through, you probably will need help getting there, and that will hence require persuading some people to share your vision.



When you want to learn something new, depending on what kind of person you are, you don’t throw yourself straight into the worst action, that will most likely just harm the confidence tied to the skill you want to develop. You incrementally increase your level of uncomfortableness to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you want to learn how drive a car, you first start of on some remote parking lot, so all you need to think of is how to learn handle the basic of handling the car. Then you advance to some low traffic industrial areas to get comfortable on the road, and then you increase the level of traffic intensity and complex road layout. You Build your confidence step by step. That’s why we are going to start the practice of public speaking at home in a safe environment.


There are ways for us to improve our chances of making a successful talk, preparing ourselves by just putting in a few minutes of effort daily, time we all can afford to take. And it doesn’t matter if you have a big upcoming speech or if you just want to be prepared when it comes – because it will.


Of course there are tons of videos out there by pros that outline different strategies for how to go about public speaking. But that’s not what I’m going to focus in on this week, so besides the general tips like: KNOW YOUR TOPIC; HAVE A CLEAR FOCUSED MESSAGE; PRACTICE YOUR SPEACH ON YOUR OWN, TO YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY, etc, there are some more general practices you can take on to prepare yourself; getting comfortable standing and speaking and fine-tuning your body language which makes up for a majority of what message you’re actually sending out.


So the daily practice and objectives are:


Each day in the week record a video on yourself when you do a 5-minute talk, it could be of whatever, if you want it to be more easy, you take an area of yours you feel passionate about. Then watch it and observe yourself; give yourself credit for what you do good, and take note of some key things you will try to improve next time. Also, we are going to align this with the body language challenge we did a couple of weeks ago, were each day in the week got a particular focus:


  • Monday – Smiling
  • Tuesday – Energy level (vocal variety)
  • Wednesday – Talking slower
  • Thursday – Hand movements
  • Friday -Eye contact


Bonus Challenge:

If you have time, before doing your recording, watch a popular ted talk or famous speech on YouTube and observe the person speaking, and in particular take notice of the daily theme, for instance, hand movements, or vocal variety. Try to get inspired and borrow some things you like and try them out, that’s the beauty of doing this on your own, you can play around as much as you want!


Final Words

So to sum it up, there’s tons of different things you can do to prepare for a speech, but I have found that just being comfortable with your body language and being used with the mind-set of talking publicly, even if it’s only in front of the camera, it will make for a solid base to start off from, and to make the jump to actually stand in front of real people less intimidating. So that’s why we are going to make a daily short recording of ourselves when we are doing a short speech or just talking, focusing in on practicing one body language skill at the time.


If you’re up for the challenge, please commit to me in the comments and it will increase your chances of follow through by a toon. Also if you have any questions or thoughts of your own, don’t be afraid to share.


See you in the Vlog guys, take care.




Brendon Burchard’s 5×50 Productivity Formula – Weekly Challenge #18

Brendon Burchard’s 5×50 Productivity Formula – Weekly challenge #18


Hi Guys!

This week’s challenge we are going to take on world famous high performance coach Brendon Burchard’s weekly productivity challenge.  It’s no point in me saying to much this time, since he has a video addressing exactly what this challenge is going to be about! Instead I’m just shortly going to mention some important things and advices from my own experiences when dealing with this kind of stuff.

Every challenge can be seen as a project, hence we apply the overall project plan structure What How Why and When.

What – We want to get things done, we want to accomplish things without burning ourselves to the ground. We want results effectively. However, this is so much deeper that just getting more things done; it’s about daily progressing towards our life goals. It’s about doing the best we can to fulfil our life purpose. But willpower can only take us so far, we need the right tools to achieve those goals, and being highly productive is a key player in that game.

Why – This is for you to write down on your own, and go deep, see the big picture and how things actually effect things. Do this thoroughly; write ten reasons for why you must do this ( watch my video where I give an example ), ten reasons for why you can do it and ten reasons for all the good things that will happen if you do – creating that positive association.

How – This is what Brendon describes in his video and downloadable PDF; this is how we actually are going to reach our wanted outcome. The document also entails a simple way of rating ourselves, which we should do before and after we start the challenge. Measuring is important in order to analyse, evaluate and tweak our actions to make sure we are doing the right thing.

When – The actual time we are going to apply and implement these productive habits; it is described in detail in Brendon’s downloadable PDF and video. As always on an overall level, we are going to apply this for five days and then evaluate and decide weather to continue doing it or not.

Now let me just say, this isn’t an easy challenge that lies ahead of us, he may make it sound like it is if you listen to his video. But I’ve tried parts of it before, and do some of it already, and I know this requires a tremendous amount of discipline and motivation. If you are going to follow true, you need to have a real sit down, watch his video and really take in what he is saying and go through how this will effect your usual habits. You need to be prepared for all the obstacles that these new habits will bring, because it’s going to shake your current way of doing things up real good. Now that’s good, we need that! But if we can foresee how it may clash with our current routines and habits, and plan ahead and adapt to these new habits, it will increase our chances of succeeding big time. Or one could just dive straight in the first week, and realise we’re the actual problems lies, and then adapt for the second week to make it work for you. But that’s less effective.

Here’s a brief summary what he is saying in his video; going over the five challenges he claims to increase your productivity by 30%.

The 5 productive habits are:

Sleep more! Brendon sais sleep 50 min more then you are used to. This also includes 50 min prior going to bed, no screens; tv, phone, computer, etc! This requires some planning; set the alarm 50 min before going to bed so you now when to shut down.

50 min power block – first 20 min stretch/yoga – you can start the day with a workout, but then also do 20 min stretching to open up your body. The last 30 min – planning your day! Brendon has a morning routine, included in the same downloadable PDF and goes through it in more detail in his video, but for one you don’t check your phone or any other contact with the world until you have planned out your day.

50 min work block time – no spontaneous random multitasking doing a little of that, a little of that. And schedule the things you otherwise to spontaneous; like social media and other kinds of distractions; YOU FOCUS IN ON ONE THING, AND ONE THING ONLY.

Breaks – after the 50 min work blocks, you get up, move around, do some focused breathing and shake lose.

50 min break, sometime during the afternoon you take a longer 50 min break, where you for instance go on a 30 min walk OUTDOORS, stretch some, clear your head and energize.

Before I let you go, I can’t stress enough the importance of really answering the questions for WHY you’re doing this properly. And remind yourself every morning for your reasons. That is what will give you that drive you’ll need. When you’re in the middle of a 50 min work block, and your urge to check the mail kicks in, or your phone buzzes ( because you forgot to put it silent mood/flight mood), to be able to withstand and continue as nothing has happened; that requires willpower fuled by a tremendously crystal clear WHY! It’s big changes, but if you’re like me highly motivated for some real change and getting to action – let’s do this.

If you have any questions – please share!

Good luck, and don’t forget to see how I’m doing in the week vlog.

/Alexander Nilsson

Brendon Burchard’s 5×50 Productivity Formula


Brendon Burchard’s 5×50 Productivity Formula



Defining Yourself to build self-esteem


alexander nilsson dictionary

This guide is meant to help build self-esteem and assist you in defining yourself as a person. It was initially thought out for my sister, whom suffers from deep depression and severe anxiety, and as a result booth her self-esteem and self-confident are, bare to non-existent. She has always suffered from this to some degree, but since a while back she has started to doubt everything about herself and who she is. Both her self-esteem and self-confidence has totally vanished, and her ability to speak with conviction and making decisions are long gone. Since most of the decisions we take, subconsciously or consciously, to a great extent are based on who we are, what we believe in, what we like, basically all the things that makes up our identity; if all that are gone, what will then our decisions be based on? Not only is it time consuming not being able to make decisions in an efficient way, but it is also drains us of our valuable willpower – a limited resource that should be used for the important decisions in life, not the small mundane everyday choices like picking the colour of your socks.

My sister need do define herself to give her a sense of who she is again. So, I put together a “define yourself” template to paint that faded portrait once more. Painting this picture means we have the possibility to create the ideal person we want to be; influenced by the person we are and what we have done, If the old us have parts we want to keep that is, and use it as a blueprint, a compass and a reminder when in doubt. Because this is not only for the broken ones, by defining the ideal person we want to be, and simply decide to be that person, we can reach that state, if so only for a split second.

self-esteem and self-confidence meaning vs

There are not so many of us that truly can say that they know who they are, but how does one actually reach that state o being certain in who you are, what you believe in and stand for – is it even possible?  We are going to adopt the mind set of “do it and you’ll be it.”, adapted from the famous expression “fake it til you make it”, which I don’t like because that actually tells ourselves that it isn’t the kind of person we really are, that we are being incongruent with ourselves. The word “fake” doesn’t send any good vibes, it tells us we are fake, but we are simply going do our best to be the person we define ourselves as – our ideal selves.

We need to get over the focus on WHAT we actually like or believe in; it just isn’t that important, at least not for the sake of building your self-esteem (the actual moral issue of some question is a different topic, and not the star of this story). But what rather is of importance is that you in fact believe in something and stand for that. This enables you to be confident when talking to people, to actually have an opinion and a belief, something that defines you – not knowing anything just makes you come off as blunt and undeceive. Whether you actually like the colour blue or pink more doesn’t really matter. As long as it is written in the definition of you, it is the truth you live by, as it will make you more deceive, and feel a sense of knowing of who you are.

I know some people will probably argue that it’s a bad thing painting oneself in to a corner, taking a stand point of being in a particular way, and I can agree that to some extend that may be true. I’m not saying that just because one has picked his or her favourite colour it is written in stone for all eternal future. But we need a solid foundation to build ourselves up from, a starting point and base to lean back at when in doubt. And we can do that by defining ourselves, our beliefs, our likings, who we are, what we believe in, our values and moral, but most importantly, how we act. Because it is actually the actions we take that defines us.

If you actually change your mind after some convincing arguments, it should be changed in the definition first so you don’t give yourself the possibility of jumping opinions too much, as it will render the point of the definition worthless.  Just taking an initial standpoint for the sake of feeling belongingness having a definition of ourselves will serve our self-esteem well. Because that means we can act and make decisions based on what we are standing for – and that makes us be true to ourselves, because we are just following the blueprint; our game plan of life. Less wasted energy on decision making. Of course situations may occur where we might derail from our definition, but since we then have the right answers we know we should have followed, we will hence feel guilt and make an effort to improve until next time we are faced with a similar situation.

We as human beings are in a constant transformational state, as I’m writing these words, it changes me as a person, it affirms a belief I have and what I do. Hence is a static timeless definition of a person not even possible for more than a split second. Defining ourselves in this static way is like interpolation, if you are familiar with math, we’ll use a previous and a future ideal state as a data points to approximate our current state, see figure 1.  Therefore, are we also working with a changing definition that are meant to lead and guide our way of being, acting and taking decisions; a definition of our ideal self-image that is dependent on what we’d like that person to be like. The “define yourself” template will give you a simple framework to support you in that process of becoming your ideal self. And if you already know who you are – great, then it’s an easy process for you to just fill in the blanks, and you have a solid definition you can look back at if you ever start to doubt yourself or begin to fall down a dark path. Because we all have our dark moments.

defining yourself graph

Figure 1, our different points in time between who we were, and who we want to be, we always want to move in the direction towards our ideal self.

Full disclaimer; this isn’t scientifically grounded. This is my own experience and thoughts influenced by thousands of hours of personal development content. I know this isn’t perfect, but it’s a start, I’m playing around with this, and sharing my thoughts on it; trying to build my sister up, and I believe this is something that could work for her. I have been defining myself in a similar way for many years know, and have found it to serve me well, even though this is a more detailed template than i previously have been using. If you have comments or constructive input, by all means, do share. Good Luck!

Link to the Template:

WORD – Defining yourself

PDF – Defining yourself

The video:


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How to start a Passion Project – A practical Guide

How to start a passion project – A practical guide.  Weekly Challenge #16

The video Link.


So this week is going to focus on that one thing you know you want to, ought to and need to do! It’s time to start that project of yours you’ve been neglecting for so long –  you may not be able to explain the reasons fully, but the thought of it keeps circling around in the back of your head. Or it may just be something you told yourself long ago you were going to do someday, and it just wouldn’t feel right to not at least give it a try. Whether it is customizing your bike or starting your own YouTube channel – the time to start, is now!
You may ask what this has to do with personal development? – I say It has everything to do with personal development! it’s a cornerstone in personal development. Because whatever it may be, if its’ a dream or something you just know you know you have to do, you are not being true to yourself if you keep ignoring something that obviously is so important that you brain constantly reminds you of it. It follows you around wherever you go, nagging and urging you to take action. Being true to ourselves and are the foundation of self- esteem.

I know there is one thing you’re thinking of right know, you know what it is. We owe it to ourselves to put in the effort and give it a try.  At least give it a proper evaluation, and from that standpoint realize it maybe wasn’t anything that had any real value to it. But your current state does you nothing good and only drains you of valuable energy and occupies white space, space that when cleared out could open up for new ideas and projects.

So, the first step will be to have a sit-down and write out all the thoughts you have concerning your “thing”, which will lead you to a making a decision on whether it’s time to let go of it or actually put a real effort into it. Often the hardest part is to start, to get the ball rolling. We have to let go of the concepts of perfectionism, which – in my opinion – one of our biggest enemies. Nothing will ever be perfect, you just have to get over that idea. We have to become friends with uncertainty, and start to believe – have faith – that our focus will align us on a path towards our goals. If you want to, if you truly and wholeheartedly need something to happen, it will. But also realizing and accepting, that if that is what you’re pursuing, it will require way, way much more time and effort than you ever can imagine. But if you can come to terms with that, it’s just a matter of getting started.

So How do we do this? Well, we’re going to try to keep things simple by approaching this on a WHAT, WHY, HOW & WHEN basis.

WHAT – Start with defining WHAT the wanted OUTCOME is.  We are doing this in two steps; short term and long term.

Long term – What’s the end goal? At this state dare to be bold, dare to dream big and reach for the stars. Have a playful mind.  You don’t have to have any clue for how to reach your goal, you just need to have a belief that our focus and determination will set us on a path towards it. If we must, we will find a way. This is where faith and accepting uncertainty plays a tremendously important role. We have to accept not knowing; we have to embrace it. Don’t underestimate the power of a determined mind & belief in yourself.

Short term – Since we are doing this challenge on a five-day basis, you will set up a goal for what you want to achieve in five days. So, what’s a realistic outcome you could reach in five days? This is dependent on what it is you are reaching for and how much time you actually have to allocate for this project. We’ll come into time allocation more in detail further down in the text, but If you’re working, an hour a day may be a good start.

WHY –  Write down the reasons for why you are doing this. If you’re in a rush and has known why you need to this for so long, scribble it down and go on with it. But don’t underestimate the power of clearly defining your reasons. Because when you actually sit down and go through your thoughts and ideas – those you thought was so vivid and clear – you most often find that is not the case. Hence, doing so often results in great insights and new perspectives. Having a crystal clear WHY will empower you not only to get started, but also keep you going for the tuff times ahead, because they will come. So, if you want to get better clarity and motivation you’ll write the following lists:

  • 10 reasons for WHY you MUST do it
  • 10 reasons for WHY you CAN do it
  • 10 reasons for WHY it will benefit you – creating a positive association! Have a playful mind, remove all pessimism; dare to think big. How would the most gracious outcome change your life?

HOW – Strategy planning – now here’s where things stop being general. Depending on how your project looks like, you need to do different kinds of research. Google and search around for the experts in the area your projects relate to. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, there are people that have shared their knowledge on basically every area that is out there today. Find those persons and model what they’ve done. Or if it actually is something brand new, find the closest thing to it, and see how you can borrow thoughts and ideas and implement it on your project. Research and prepare; read books, google, talk to people you may know, or just get started and learn for yourself (if that’s the path of least resistance that will actually get you started, take it). On a general level, here are some workflow tips;

  • Create a list of all the things that you could do, then pick out the top 3 and focus on those things first.
  • Brake things down to actionable items and to do’s, what’s the first thing you have to do to get started?
  • Have clear deadlines and sub goals (SMART- goals – ). When you are responsible to yourself, deadlines (if you respect them) are what will give you something to strive for in an otherwise infinite amount of time.
  • Reviewing analysing and re-evaluating; tweaking your plan, because it will change! What you know when you start is massively going to change time after time.

For this 5-day challenge, I want you to focus on the short term strategy. To JUST get started without overcomplicating things. TO get momentum. The long term strategy you can look into when you revaluate things, or if it really is a big project, creating or starting to create that long term strategy, is perhaps suitable to be your first short term goal for this week.  Now, if it’s a new habit you want to create, like starting a new exercises routine, look into my last week’s challenge ( ), or simply read the book “The Power of Habit”.

WHEN – First off, you have to allocate time to this. If you’re in the middle of a vacation – GREAT! What a fantastic opportunity, if you’re not, you just have to reprioritize and make time with what you’ve got. Try to schedule in a least an hour a day, but of course It’s dependent on your situation.

The initial timespan will be five days, then it’s time to do a new evaluation of the status and look over the long-term outcome tweak if necessary and then put up a new short-term outcome. Always work with deadlines. Trust me, it will make things happen. Also, you may come to the realisation that it wasn’t what you thought it would be and you can say god bye to it forever. Either case, if you put a real effort into it – great, now go out and celebrate with friends and share your experience! Your worth it, and you need to reward yourself for it.

A Work schedule outline:

  • Day 1: the most important day – it’s what will give you a game plan for the rest of the week
  • Day 2: Reviewing short term / long term goal. Taking action for X amount of time. Tracking & logging progress.
  • Day 3: Reviewing short term / long term goal. Taking action for X amount of time. Tracking & logging progress.
  • Day 4: Reviewing short term / long term goal. Taking action for X amount of time. Tracking & logging progress.
  • Day 5: Reviewing short term / long term goal. Taking action for X amount of time. Tracking & logging progress. CELEBRATION FOR REACHING YOUR GOAL; or for ACTUALLY STARTING SOMETHING THAT MATTERS TO YOU. Revaluating Long term goal, putting up next short term goal.

You are also going to need a place to gather thoughts, ideas and material. I do all this in OneNote, but there are other alternatives like Evernote or a regular paper block. But, from experience I’ve found that a paper book just won’t store all the links and data i gather in an efficient way, since so much of the work is being done on a computer.

Good Luck, and hit me up if you have any questions.

/Alexander Nilsson