Hacking Success

Think of someone you look up to as a model of success. What if I told you that level of success is not as far off as it may appear…

NCAA Men's Championship Game - Butler v UConn

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I have carefully observed many successful people over the years from professional athletes to Hall of Fame coaches to surgeons, educators and business men/women at the top of their respective fields. During these observations I pride myself on remaining as unbiased as possible. To clarify, I am not trying to confirm that what I think is right. Rather, I want to know what successful people around me have already decided to be right (the answers are out there, you just have to pay attention). Through these observations, I have found there are two things needed to be successful:

1). Know the best decisions to make.

2). Make them every day.

Success is not as elusive as it can sometimes appear. Billionaire Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, references this:

“Behavior modification typically takes about 18 months of constant reinforcement.”

Define what success looks like to you. Identify the behaviors you need to change to be successful. Practice those behaviors every day for 18 months. If you are impatient or anxious and 18 months is too long of a commitment, focus on winning each day. Win each day until a day becomes a week. Win each week until a week becomes a month. Win each month until a month becomes a year. At some point, you will begin to notice improvement. This improvement will energize you and re-motivate you to continue making progress. All of a sudden, 18 months will pass and you will have reached the next level.

The more you practice a behavior (reinforce), the easier it becomes until it is a habit. By identifying and practicing behaviors that will make you successful, success (as you defined it) will become a habit. This is the ultimate goal. Success is now as routine as making coffee in the morning or brushing your teeth.

If you are 25 you can establish successful habits by 27. If you are 45 you can establish successful habits by 47. If you are 65 you can establish successful habits by 67- the process is irrespective of age, gender and all other identities. After the first 18 months, re-evaluate the decisions you need to make to reach a higher level. Make them. Repeat the process until you are where you want to be.

If you don’t know where to start, here is an example for success at work. Practice the behavior of completing every assignment to the point where it could never be returned to you for revision. If you are entry or mid-level- submitting documents to managers- treat every assignment as an opportunity to make an impression on the person who evaluates your performance and ultimately decides your fate. Yes, it will take more time/attention and yes, you may have to stay later initially, but with each document you submit you are reinforcing the behavior until it becomes a habit.

Anyone, no matter where they fall on the totem pole can ask the right questions, obtain necessary information and put in 100% effort. You don’t start magically completing better work once you are promoted. You reinforce the behavior of completing better work to establish a successful habit which over time can result in success (promotion).

Everyone looks up to someone as a model of success. There is only one thing that separates you from the people you look up to…

They started.


iPhone 5 Tips

Having owned an iPhone for 5 years I always considered myself iPhone savvy. I recently read an article that offered tips and tricks, many of which were unknown to me. Here are some of my favorites:

iOS 7

See where you’ve been

This comes in especially handy mornings you wake up with a foggy memory and lost wallet. Or, if you ever were to need an alibi with timestamp included for whatever reason. iOS 7 tracks where you have been to help personalize features such as the Notification Center and Maps. This leaves you with a collection of data showing where you were and for how long. The screenshot on the left shows my location during the week of August 11th. When I selected “Norfolk International Airport”, I am brought to a page that shows duration of stay. If this creeps you out, the feature can be shut off from the System Services page.

You can find it: Settings –> Privacy –> Location Services –> System Services –> Frequent Locations.

Location Services

Do Not Disturb Mode

Settings –> Do Not Disturb (ON)

This feature silences incoming calls and notifications until you are ready to view them. You can customize the feature to allow calls from favorites or specific contacts as well as schedule a recurring time.

Quit Multiple Apps

Quitting apps after usage is the best way to save precious battery life. With iOS 7 you can quit multiple apps at once by double-tapping the home button and swiping up with multiple fingers.

Block Contacts

Choose which method of communication you wish to block from a certain contact (Messages, Phone or FaceTime) and hit the (i) info button. Then scroll down to the bottom of the contact information and select “Block this Caller”.

To review who you have blocked:

  • Settings –> Messages  –> Blocked
  • Settings –> Phone  –> Blocked
  • Settings –> FaceTime  –> Blocked


For help with DIY projects, access a level by swiping right in the Compass app.

Faster Charge

Charge iPhone on “Airplane Mode” for a faster charge.


Text Read to You

Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> Speak Selection (ON)

Now the iPhone can read text to you in Mail, Safari, Messages and iBooks. Highlight the text you want to hear and hit “Speak”.


Tap the microphone at the bottom of the keyboard in an email or text message to have your words translated to text. Note: only works when Siri is enabled.


There is no excuse for not knowing the definition of a word. Highlight the difficult word to bring up the options menu, then hit “Define”.


Burst Mode

Hold down the camera button to engage burst mode. Burst mode will snap 10 pictures per second for as long as the button is depressed. Then, you can view pictures side by side to choose your favorites.

Mapped Pictures

View your pictures on a map by tapping the location under Years, Collections or Moments.

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Original article: https://www.apple.com/iphone-5s/tips/